When Tommy Collison, a boy in rural Ireland, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP) at 18 months old, his mom became an expert on the condition. After devouring books and articles about the topic, she concluded: If Tommy ever needed surgery, she would bring him to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.
Tommy’s mom wasn’t alone. In the past decade, patients have traveled to Gillette in St. Paul, MN from 20 countries to receive CP care. And, today, they join us in celebrating World Cerebral Palsy Day. In more than 50 nations, people who have CP, along with their communities, are working to ensure they have the same rights, access and opportunities as everyone else. At Gillette, we join this movement by supporting our patients no matter where in the world they call home.
When international families travel to Gillette for care, they receive help with far more than coordinating appointments. Our social workers and child life specialists assist with travel and lodging arrangements, and make sure children feel comfortable before surgery. Families can also feel confident that they’re not alone in seeking out Gillette from abroad. Each year, dozens of medical professionals from around the globe visit to learn from our experts.
Eight years after his initial diagnosis, Tommy Collison did have surgery—in 2004, 2010 and 2012. He came to Gillette for all three procedures. Now, he studies journalism at New York University, and he’s even contributed a blog post to Gillette! “My life today is thanks to the staff at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare,” Tommy says. He’s one of the many patients we celebrate today.