New rehabilitation unit opens at Children's Center

Thursday, May 8th 2008, 3:31 pm
By: News 9

By Amy Lester, NEWS 9

BETHANY, Okla. - The Children's Center dedicated a $7 million pediatric medical rehabilitation unit on Thursday.

The facility at the non-profit hospital in Bethany helps kids recover from traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries.

"What our overarching goal is, is to have a kid functioning at his maximum potential with the limitations that he has, participating in his community, participating in his family, active, doing things," said Dr. Ed Wright.

The rooms in the unit have pull out beds so the family can stay with their child.

On average a patient will spend three weeks in the center as a team of specialists works help the kids recover.  They use music, speech and physical therapy, and teach them how to adapt to the world with their injuries, Wright said.

Melvin Bell's daughter Brittney came the center after spending three weeks in a coma.  She was in a car wreck and suffered brain damage. 

"This place is a godsend," Bell said. "It's awesome with kids.

After three months at The Children's Center and outpatient therapy, Brittney is back in high school.

"Brittney motivated everybody around her she really does because she never gives up," Bell said.

Because of her brain injury, Brittney's soft palate doesn't work properly, making it hard to talk.  She uses an electronic talking device from The Children's Center.  She types sentences in, then plays them out. 

"It's helped me walk, talk, taking showers, feed myself, it's helped me got to school," she said. "I'm very thankful for The Children's Center."