Kennedy Krieger Institute
For more than 80 years, Kennedy Krieger has been helping kids live their lives to the fullest. Through innovative therapies, education and research, we transform the lives of children, adolescents and adults with diseases, disorders and injuries impacting the nervous system.
A good example of what we do is how we helped Marcel. “Marcel is a very happy little boy. His name means ‘little warrior,’ and he’s just a fun kid,” says Naimah, Marcel’s mom. But the day Marcel, who has Down syndrome, developed transverse myelitis was devastating.
When Naimah tried to pick up her son, “His legs just fell underneath him. I knew something was not right.” Marcel was paralyzed from the waist down.
Marcel, now 4, came to Kennedy Krieger two years ago for intense inpatient rehabilitation, followed by interdisciplinary physical, occupational and aquatic therapies at Kennedy Krieger’s outpatient center.
“We are really focused on recovery,” explains Brooke Meyer, a physical therapist at the Institute’s International Center for Spinal Cord Injury. “We’re truly trying to activate and restore the nervous system, so we can facilitate as much recovery as possible.”
On Marcel’s first day of therapy, three physical therapists helped Marcel into a child-size harness over a treadmill. One moved Marcel’s right leg, another moved his left leg, and a third held Marcel’s hips up.
“For the first time in six months, I saw my child on his feet, walking again,” Naimah says. At Kennedy Krieger, “They give us hope through seeing our kids in motion again.”
Through innovative therapies, education and research, we transform the lives of children like Marcel, as well as adolescents and adults, with diseases, disorders and injuries impacting the nervous system. In addition to our rehabilitation hospital, we offer four special education schools and more than 70 outpatient, home and community programs and clinics.
We recently opened the second location of our International Center for Spinal Cord Injury, in Howard County, to allow us to treat many more patients each year.