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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Kansas teen tackles brain injury head on

March 31, 2017

Devin Busick loves playing football. “I was a linebacker (and you liked to) tackle people (laughs) if they were in the way,” said Devin.

On this February day, it’s the sunshine that may be the only obstacle Devin’s tackling. Playing catch with mom who says he could barely lift his head up a few weeks ago. 

“Devin went from not doing anything when we came here and now he’s talking, he’s walking, he talks in sentences, he’s just amazing. Just to see his progress and how far he’s came since he’s been here,” said Tiara Harris, Devin's mom.

Here at Madonna’s Alexis Verzal Children’s Rehabilitation Unit in Lincoln, Nebraska. Devin is recovering from a car accident he was involved in back in mid-November while on his way to school. The crash resulted in a traumatic brain injury. The Manhattan, Kansas, teen was in intensive care at Stormont Vail Health before starting rehabilitation. 

“Miracles happen. I truly believe that. I didn’t believe that before, but now I believe that miracles happen. I believe that God does everything for a reason,” said Tiara. 

From walking using body weight support and playing video games, to going on outings and working on math problems. It’s all to help Devin relearn, rebuild and form new connections and pathways in his brain that may have been damaged or lost as a result of the accident. 

“He follows commands. He still needs some help following through with complex commands or multiple step commands but those things that we take for granted but, ‘I’m going to go over and pick that book up.’ He can go and do that with a little prompting now which we weren’t even sure he was going to be able to do that when he first got here. So, he has made leaps and bounds in his progress," said Katy Poorman, Madonna speech-language pathologist. 
Progress with cognition, problem-solving and memory. Katy says she and other team members have even noticed Devin’s getting his good-natured personality back, including his smile. Mom says just like his love for football and the gridiron: Devin doesn’t quit. 

“I just got this feeling from him like I’m not giving up. He’s not been the one to give up, he’s always been a fighter since the day he was born,” said Tiara. 

To learn more about Madonna's brain injury program, please click here.