For many 12-year-olds, meeting a room full of strangers is intimidating. But not for Mark, who sees such occasions as new opportunities to win over a crowd. Once a promising young performer, Mark hasn’t been able to sing, dance, or act since last summer, when he suffered a traumatic brain injury in a Jet-Ski accident. But true charisma knows no physical limitations. When Mark enters a room, he shines.
Not that Mark has given up. Each step in his recovery brings him closer to a return to the stage. When Mark was initially released from the hospital after his accident, he could barely speak, required tube feedings five times each day and relied entirely on his wheelchair to get around. Today, Mark's tracheostomy is gone and his speech is crystal-clear, he eats normally, he is independent in his daily routine, and he walks independently.
Much of Mark’s progress occurred in Kennedy Krieger’s Specialized Transition Program, a day hospital designed to help children undergoing extensive rehabilitation re-enter home, community and school life. Children in STP receive physical and occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, neuropsychology and nursing care as well as educational services. The goal is to give children the services and support they need to make the transition back into their daily routines and responsibilities as smooth as possible.