Kids Health Matters
January is National Winter Sports Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) Awareness Month. Prevention and precaution are the keys to staying safe and minimizing injuries. If your child does become injured the team at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare has a higher level of training to deal with pediatric TBIs.
Jan. 21, 2021
No Helmet, No Slide: Wear a Helmet While Sledding, Because Your Brain Matters
Going sledding is ridiculously fun, but it can also be dangerous. Wearing a helmet makes it safer.
Jan. 5, 2021
Better Access and More Services at the Core of Changes at Gillette
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare is making changes to help more families have more convenient access to our expert care and to better serve our community. Our newly renovated Maple Grove Clinic opened Dec. 1, 2020 and means Gillette can provide more services and offer coordinated and comprehensive care in one location in the West Metro area.
Dec. 2, 2020
The Miracle of Owen
Owen Nei is 11 years old, an avid hockey and baseball player, and a young man who lights up every room he’s in with his positive, irrepressible attitude. Given how his life started out, the fact that he’s even here, much less doing all of these things, is nothing short of a miracle.
Oct. 26, 2020
Chloe and Gracie, Connected by Friendship, a Bridge and Spina Bifida
October is Spina Bifida Awareness Month and October 25 is World Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus Day. To recognize the day and the month, we're sharing the story of Chloe and Gracie, two longtime Gillette patients connected by spina bifida, but much more than that, their profound friendship. Read their story here.
Oct. 25, 2020
Grady’s Grit: Cerebral Palsy and Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) Surgery
"Grady’s so much more than his condition. The way we see it is that God gave us this incredibly cool kid who’s had to deal with a few things. We've had challenges, but life is good even when stuff is hard. Either way, because of Gillette and the care they provide, Grady's future will be whatever he decides it to be. That’s no small thing.”
Sep. 18, 2020
Meet Laurie Black, Gillette’s New Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Greater Minnesota
Take a moment to learn about Laurie Black, APRN, PNP, who joined Gillette this month to serve patients in greater Minnesota as part of the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation team.
Sep. 17, 2020
Super Sam and Cerebral Palsy
At Target Field, every Sunday is Kid’s Day and on a beautiful summer day in August of 2019, Samuel Anastos scored the first honorary run of a Minnesota Twins game. It was a joyous moment made all the more meaningful because there was a time in Sam’s life when his parents questioned whether he would learn to walk or talk, much less run.
Sep. 16, 2020
Why I’m Here: For My Brother, for My Patients
When I work with my patients at Gillette, I try not to impose my story and my “why” on them and their families. But inevitably, it comes up. My younger brother, Peter has cerebral palsy. He’s why I do what I do and why I’m here. I’m immensely proud of him and grateful to have had the privilege of being his sister.
Aug. 3, 2020
Turning Can’t Into Can Since 2011: Peter’s Cerebral Palsy Journey
In all the ways that matter, Peter is your typical 8-year-old. He’s a protective older brother to his younger sister Katie, loves cars, sports and Star Wars. He’s easy to smile, quick to laugh and brings joy to all who meet him. When you’re in Peter’s presence, the fact that he has cerebral palsy and can’t speak, quickly becomes an afterthought.
Jul. 29, 2020
Every Day, Better and Stronger: Matthew’s Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury
Matthew suffered a traumatic brain injury 15 years ago. After the treatment at Gillette that saved his life, he’s had a singular goal: To live every day, better and stronger. As he says, “It’s not about what I lost, it’s about what I’m getting back.”
Jul. 14, 2020
Gillette Children’s Healthcare Press Brings the Personal and Medical to Parents
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare has launched a new resource to help parents of children who have complex, rare or traumatic conditions. The first book released by the new Gillette Children’s Healthcare Press is Spastic Diplegia—Bilateral Cerebral Palsy and it’s written by Lily Collison, an Ireland-based author and the mother of a Gillette patient.
May. 28, 2020
Here’s Why Gillette is the Best at Providing Cerebral Palsy Care
For 123 years the doctors, nurses and employees at Gillette have worked every day to provide the very best care for all children. This dedication has led to treatments and outcomes that have influenced cerebral palsy care worldwide.
Feb. 28, 2020
Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery Changed Sam’s Life
“It’s not an exaggeration to say deep brain stimulation (DBS) surgery at Gillette changed Sam’s life,” marvels his mother Coleen Wedig. Sam Wedig, 16 and his mother first traveled to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare from Des Moines, Iowa in 2015 seeking help for cerebral palsy and dystonia. They’re passionate about sharing their story in the hope they can help other families dealing with similar medical challenges.
Jan. 27, 2020
Sophia Soars: Family Makes 700-Mile Journey to Treat Daughter’s Cerebral Palsy
"Every step Sophia takes is a testament to the countless dedicated individuals who made it possible," says her mother, Susan Slinkard. Sophia and her family traveled from Arkansas to Minnesota for several major surgeries aimed at reducing Sophia's spasticity.
Jan. 16, 2020
Trevor Gets Back in Action After Aneurysm
After enduring a ruptured aneurysm, doctors told Trevor's parents were told he'd never walk again. After a six-week rehabilitation stay at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Trevor strode out of the hospital doors - walking independently.
Dec. 22, 2019
Many the Miles: Deep Brain Stimulation Gives the Gift of a Son
As loud music filled the adjoining hallways near the Neurosciences unit at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, passersby could be forgiven if they were a bit confused. The atmosphere was festive and there was good reason for it. At long last, James Bostic, 17, was able to go home. He had been in the hospital for 15 months.
Dec. 2, 2019
Robotics Can Help Train Kids to Walk: The Role of Locomotor Training in Rehabilitation
Rehabilitation therapy helps patients learn how to maximize their abilities and become familiar with new ways of moving. Locomotor training, a form of walking therapy that involves body weight support, can help eligible patients increase function in their lower extremities and improve their mobility.
Oct. 1, 2019
Dear Theodora: One Family’s Cerebral Palsy Journey
There are few moments in life as exciting and anxiety inducing as the day you have your first child, but for Andrew Bailey and his wife, Amanda, things were a bit more complicated. Amanda was home in Connecticut getting ready for her baby shower. Andrew, a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, was in Seattle for an away game.
Oct. 1, 2019
Virtual Reality Bolsters Clinical Care at Gillette
The hospital can be a scary place for anyone, especially a child, and no matter how nice the staff is or how thoughtfully the clinical spaces are designed, it’s usually difficult for a patient to forget they’re in one. At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, that’s no longer the case.
Jul. 17, 2019
Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM) Breakthrough is Good News for Gillette Patients
A researcher from the University of Minnesota has identified a virus associated with acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), a rare, polio-like disorder that can cause sudden paralysis in children. Most of the Minnesota children diagnosed with AFM last fall received treatment at Gillette.
Apr. 19, 2019
The Long Way Round: A Look Back on my Treatment for Cerebral Palsy
When Jenna Robinson was born, she only weighed three pounds and doctors told her parents she’d never be a “rocket scientist.” Now 28, she holds a Master’s degree in social work and has dedicated her life to helping individuals lead more independent lives.
Mar. 27, 2019
Cerebral Palsy Won’t Slow Wes Down, He’s Unstoppable
Wes Jackson is a thoughtful, kind and inquisitive kid. He also has cerebral palsy, but he won't let that (or anything else for that matter) get in his way. Get to know Wes and his family, you'll be glad you did.
Mar. 21, 2019
First of Its Kind in the Metro—Aerodigestive Clinic Provides Coordinated, Convenient Care for Families
The human body is a miraculous makeup of coordinated and interconnected systems that, when operating properly, are a wonder to behold. But when things aren’t operating correctly, this interconnectedness can cause a whole host of complications. This issue is precisely why Gillette’s Aerodigestive Clinic was established last year.
Dec. 4, 2018
Surgeries Keep the Promise of Independence to Kaidyn
Learn how a selective dorsal rhizotomy and single-event multilevel surgery (SEMLS) Gillette, along with her intrinsic determination, has led to newfound independence and confidence for Kaidyn.
Nov. 21, 2018
Bennett’s Story: Forming a Family and Spina Bifida
It’s funny, you never know at the time when you’re living the day that will change your life forever. But that’s what happened to me four years ago. I work in Community Engagement and Events for the Minnesota Twins and I was volunteering at an event Joe Mauer was hosting for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, when I saw a little boy sitting by himself on the ground. I sat down next to him and he turned and said: “Hi, my name is Bennett and I love dinosaurs.”I fell in love on the spot.
Aug. 10, 2018
Letters to My Landon: A Message to My Son
Every now and again, I write a new letter to my son, Landon. It’s my testament to him. To who he was, to who he is, and to who he could someday be.
Jun. 3, 2018
Rediscovering Ashlyn’s “Fierce” Self
When 3-year-old Ashlyn sustained life-threatening injuries in a car accident, her family worried her personality, which they call "fierce," might not return. Discover how care at the Regions-Gillette Level I Pediatric Trauma Center helped Ashlyn, and her entire family, heal.
May. 17, 2018
Lincoln is Going to be Lincoln: How I Learned To Stop Worrying About My Son With Special Needs
Parents worry. Parents worry about their child’s growth, development, friends, school, future. It’s a universal truth, baked into our biology. When a child is diagnosed with special needs, however, a parent’s worry can snowball into anxiety. That's what happened to me, but here's what I did.
Apr. 12, 2018
It’s Not a Career, It’s a Calling: Bringing My Son Home
Louie Romero is a smiley kid that simply can’t help the fact that he is irrepressibly charming. It's Louie's personality that makes an impression when you meet him. The fact that he is in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy ranks much lower on the list.
Mar. 12, 2018
Gillette Helps Athletes with Paralympic Dreams
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare provides support and resources to help kids achieve their athletic goals. Our therapeutic recreation specialists take pride in helping kids improve their strength and flexibility while having the fun experience of playing sports.
Mar. 9, 2018
Why Rehabilitation Accreditations Matter for Patients, Families
The Gillette inpatient rehabilitation program is accredited from the prestigious Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. We also received accreditation for our pediatric brain injury specialty program. Read about the meaning behind these honors.
Feb. 25, 2018
Help Fund Animal-Assisted Therapy at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare
“I don’t think it would surprise anyone to learn that a lot of children love dogs,” says Emily DeBreto. “While we’ve had volunteers bring in therapeutic dogs at the hospital for comfort, we wanted to get our dogs more involved with the actual functional aspects of the therapy we’re providing.”
Nov. 16, 2017
The Journey of Mateo Arcos: Hope, Love and Cerebral Palsy
As he ambles down a long hospital hallway, smiling with every step and practically daring you to do the same, it can be pretty easy to forget that this wasn't supposed to happen. Mateo Arcos was never supposed to walk.
Oct. 5, 2017
A Message of Love, Parris Recovers From Traumatic Brain Injury
Your brain isn't like your arm. You can’t see it or touch it. It’s not really tangible, which means that we rarely spend time thinking about the thing that makes us think, unless we have to. This is what those who experience a TBI go through.
Sep. 27, 2017
Therapy Two-A-Days: Connor Tackles Recovery from Traumatic Brain Injury
Tall, red-haired and boisterous, it’s not a surprise to learn that Connor plays on the football team back in North Dakota, or that he’s pretty popular.
Sep. 5, 2017
International Research Collaboration Between Hospitals Helps Treat Children Who Have Chronic Pain
Pain affects all aspects of life, but for many of us, it’s an abstract concept. But, for a moment, imagine what it would feel like to experience chronic pain for an entire month. Start with that, but now expand it out to a year—or maybe even, every day of your life.
Aug. 9, 2017
She’s Katie. It’s Not What She Has, It’s Who She Is
Katie Allee takes Advanced Placement classes. She’s 15, and she’s a straight-A student. Her mind? It’s all there, and she’ll tell you as much. But when it comes to her body physically, for much of her life, she’s had difficulty.
Jul. 10, 2017
Video: Facebook LIVE with Marshall Taniguchi, MD, on Cerebral Palsy
Marshall Taniguchi, MD, recently spoke to us about his work to help patients who have cerebral palsy achieve their highest possible levels of independence and quality of life. Watch the Facebook LIVE video here.
Mar. 9, 2017
Virtual Tour: Gillette Therapy Pool
Have you seen our new therapy pool? It's perfect for kids who have cerebral palsy, spinal injuries and other complex medical conditions. Take a virtual tour to learn more about the state-of-the-art facility.
Jan. 25, 2017
Some Things Change, Some Stay the Same After Injury
Five years ago Guadalupe sustained a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the waist down. She stayed at Gillette nearly six months as she built strength and learned to make the most of her existing abilities.
Jan. 17, 2017
A Legacy of Strength and Smiles
As a child in the 1940s, Lyn Baier traveled with her mother by bus from the family farm in southwestern Minnesota to the old Gillette building near Lake Phalen in St. Paul. She spent months away from home getting treatment for her deformed right leg.
Sep. 28, 2016
Jackson Defies Gravity with ReWalk Robotic Exoskeleton
Jackson sustained a spinal cord injury when he was 16 years old. The injury thrust Jackson, who stands a tall 6’2’’, into a new reality of life in a wheelchair. But instead of giving up, Jackson made the decision to embrace his new reality.
Sep. 21, 2016
Acupuncture May Yield Pain Relief for Kids Who Have Chronic Pain
A significant portion of children who have chronic care conditions – many of whom are already on numerous medications – might benefit from the low-risk and non-toxic benefits of acupuncture.
Aug. 29, 2016
Family Speaks Out on Dangers of Drinking and Driving
As the Bodell family returned home from an afternoon of bowling, an intoxicated driver plowed into their car. Three-year-old Havana Bodell sustained a spinal cord injury. Less than a year later, the family is speaking out about the dangers of driving under the influence.
Aug. 23, 2016
Redefining Colten’s Childhood After Mystery Illness
Colten's family thought he'd come down with the stomach flu. Then his illness became something much more severe. Learn how a Gillette pediatric neurologist and Colten’s rehabilitation team helped him reclaim his childhood.
Aug. 16, 2016
Study: Trampoline Park Injuries on the Rise
A new study shows that the number of trampoline injuries is on the rise. Gillette experts say there is only one way to curb that trend -- don't use them.
Aug. 1, 2016
Top 5 Summer Safety Hazards for Kids
For many children and families, summer means plenty of fun in the sun. Parents, however, need to be cautious. Many outdoor activities can end with injuries or – even worse – a trip to the emergency room.
Jun. 2, 2016
Gillette Family Makes Field of Dreams a Reality
The Feyereisen family built a sandlot field in their backyard to inspire inclusiveness and teach kindness among their triplet sons, who have varying degrees of disabilities, and their friends. It's come to resemble a real-life "Field of Dreams."
May. 26, 2016
A Conversation Between Fellows: Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine Fellowship
At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, we understand that choosing a fellowship program is a difficult and important decision. So, we sat down with two of our current Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine fellows to talk about how they made their decision, why they ultimately chose Gillette, and having been here, what they think now?
May. 22, 2016
“My Body was Haunted” – Ali’s Recovery from Chronic Pain
Even after an injury heals, sometimes an imprint of it can remain. How this happens varies from person to person. But for some individuals, like Ali Tokkesdal, it manifests in the form of chronic pain. “I couldn’t walk. It felt like my body had turned against me, like it was haunted,” says Ali.
May. 17, 2016
Sorting Through a Childhood Diagnosis: 5 Tips for Parents
Every parent wants their child to be healthy, but that isn’t always the case. The reality is that as many as one in about 325 parents will have a child who has a complex medical condition such as cerebral palsy, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also says about one in six children will have some type of developmental disability.
Mar. 24, 2016