With his glove in hand, a game of catch during therapy is a victory for Nathan Veith. These days, the 11-year-old from Wichita, Kansas, is back to doing activities he loves.
On September 20th, 2022 while riding his bike to school, Nathan was hit by a car. Nathan was thrown into the air, sustaining a brain injury and multiple skull fractures.
“The first couple of days, we didn’t know what was going to happen,” Angela Veith, Nathan’s mother, said. “Everything was touch and go.. We were monitoring so many different things. He was in very critical condition.”
Nathan spent three weeks at Ascension Via Christi St. Francis in Wichita before coming to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. When he first arrived into Madonna’s Pediatric Specialty Program, Nathan was unable to walk or talk.
“We came in very hopeful that he would do really well,” Angela said. “We just really think with his age and his healing capabilities that we have a lot of hope for him that he will recover and lead a full life.”
Step-by-step and word-by-word, Nathan continued to make gains during his therapy sessions. In occupational therapy, the Dynavision helped him improve his visual motor skills. The computerized board helps patients’ reaction time, peripheral vision and arm coordination.
“The Dynavision is such a great tool because you can perform it from a seated or a standing position,” Victoria Bergen, a Madonna occupational therapist, said. “With Nathan we were standing so not only working on that dynamic balance aspect but also vision and having your eyes tracking. One thing that is wonderful about it is you can really customize it to the patient. When we first started with Nathan, his average speed for selecting each button was over seven seconds. By the time he discharged, it was under one second.”
After working extensively with Madonna’s speech-language pathologists (SLPs), Nathan started talking and pronouncing certain words properly again. Speech therapy can help patients who are struggling with aphasia or other related conditions.
“He came in non-verbal,” Angela said. “It’s really been in the last two to three weeks that we’ve really seen a lot of growth in speech, and that’s just been miraculous. To go from not being able to speak at all, to making sounds and saying words, it’s been incredible.”
With five siblings cheering him on, Nathan is now back in his community ready to show off his hard work.
“He needed everything when we came, and now he’s climbing stairs, jogging down the hall and kicking a soccer ball,” Angela said. “He’s doing boy things that we would expect him to do and that we want him to do. We’re always really impressed each day with his ability to do new things. Each day, he just makes huge leaps and bounds, and we’re just amazed from where he started to where he is now; it’s incredible.”