The MENTOR Network

Success Stories

Saving Noah, Restoring a Family

NeuroRestorative pediatric program

In July of 2009, 13-year-old Noah, a sweet, shy boy about to begin 8th grade, was riding his bike on a warm summer afternoon when he was struck by a car.

After a scary visit to the emergency room, Noah’s mother Toni recalls the relief she felt when doctors told her that Noah hadn’t broken any bones.

“I was told he had a mild concussion and even though he hadn’t been wearing a helmet I thought he would be fine,” said Toni. “I didn’t think there was anything to worry about. But that wasn’t the case.”

Searching for Answers

Within days of his accident, Noah began to experience serious physical symptoms, including seizures, intense headaches, memory issues, sensitivity to light and trouble sleeping. According to Toni, Noah’s sunny disposition seemed to change overnight.

“He was agitated all the time, negative and frustrated,” Toni said. “He withdrew from his friends and his symptoms caused him to miss nearly an entire year of school.”

Unsure if Noah’s volatile behavior was due to the accident, a mental illness that had manifested itself, or teenage rebellion, he underwent numerous tests before finally being diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Toni was relieved to know the cause of her son’s behavior. However, after nearly two years’ worth of doctor visits and a series of medications, Noah had not improved.

A Glimmer of Hope

Frustrated and concerned for her son’s future, Toni contacted NeuroRestorative, a partner of The MENTOR Network and the nation’s largest provider of post-acute, community-based brain injury rehabilitation services. She had heard that NeuroRestorative had programs that specialized in serving children and adolescents with brain injury.

After a clinical assessment, Noah entered NeuroRestorative’s adolescent integration program, located in Carbondale, Illinois, which offers children and teens the specialized supports, therapies and education they need in a setting that promotes growth and independence.

“It was our first glimmer of hope,” Toni said.  “Noah slowly began to come around. He no longer dreaded therapy and began to open up.”

Specialized Rehabilitation to Meet Noah’s Unique Needs

While at NeuroRestorative, Noah learned how to manage his behavior through neurobehavioral therapy as well as learn new skills to improve his cognitive functioning and increase his independence. And by attending NeuroRestorative Carbondale’s adolescent integration school, Noah was able to maintain his grade level while progressing through his rehabilitation.

After nearly 10 months of rehabilitation, armed with a discharge plan that he would continue to follow with Toni’s help, Noah returned home to his family and back to school.

“The sweet, easy-going Noah is back and almost better than before,” said Toni. “He’s applying himself in school now and realizing that there’s opportunity out there, and that life is pretty good. NeuroRestorative has been life-changing for us. It not only saved Noah, but it saved our whole family.”

“It was our first glimmer of hope. Noah slowly began to come around. He no longer dreaded therapy and began to open up.”
—Toni, Noah’s mom