Going Above and Beyond for a Young Superhero Fan

Jack and Nurse in MasksJack went from being an active three and half year old to not being able to breathe or move on his own within 48 hours – a nightmare for any parent. Despite needing constant monitoring due to being diagnosed with Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), his parents remain hopeful.

"Kennedy Krieger means hope and rehabilitation,” says Jack’s mom. “We are fortunate that we are here. They are like a group of coaches preparing us to go home after our stay."

Kennedy Krieger is also synonymous with compassion. Our patients become family and so often, staff go above and beyond expectations to help a patient and their family. For Jack, this involved his love of Marvel Superheroes. 

Jack loves Spider Man, Iron Man, Captain America and Thor. Once Mike, a night nurse on Jack’s medical team and fellow superhero fan, learned of Jack’s enthusiasm, he and Jack quickly became kindred spirits. One night Mike came to care for Jack while wearing an Iron Man mask – complete with special sound effects when you open and close it. Jack loved it! The next night, Mike came in with a Captain America mask. Of course, the smile on Jack’s face was priceless.

It means everything in the world that Mike cares enough to do little extra things to make Jack smile,” say Jack’s mom. “His face lights up when he sees Mike. Mike is fantastic!

Jack will be returning home soon to continue his rehab, but his parents are prepared for what’s next. For Jack, recovery will be long but his family is supportive and up for journey. 

“We keep striving to do everything we can. We know this journey is going to be more of a marathon rather than a sprint. We are okay with that. Jack is our biggest motivator,” says his mom.