Five-Year-Old “Graduates’’ from Genesis Rehabilitation - Genesis Health System

Published on July 24, 2017

Five-Year-Old “Graduates’’ from Genesis Rehabilitation

Alex Yule poses in a fire truck giving the audience a thumbs up

Alex Yule in many ways is a typical 5-year-old. He enjoys playing with trucks and is fascinated by fire fighters.

The only indication of the challenges he has been through in those 5 years are the surgical scars on his head.

At 14 months old, Alex developed epilepsy.

Up to 20 times in a week Alex, was experiencing Grand Mal seizures, the most severe seizures. Medications were not effective in stopping the seizures.

Alex, who lives with his family in Stanwood, Iowa, underwent a hemispherectomy, which involves the removal of the brain's outer layer (cortex) and anterior temporal lobe on one half of the brain. Alex’s surgery in April at University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics was on his left side.

From Iowa City, Alex and his parents, Chris and Eric, were referred to the inpatient rehabilitation program at Genesis Medical Center, West Central Park, Davenport.

The University of Iowa quite often recommends Genesis for the various therapies available from an interdisciplinary team of professionals. But at just 5-years old, Alex is one of the younger patients the team has had.

“We seem to be seeing more pediatrics patients,’’ said Ashley Hall, occupational therapist. “I think Alex is special to all of us.’’

Making Progress

During his three weeks at Genesis, Alex made great progress. He is walking again with the assistance of a brace.

“When he first got here three weeks ago, he was not walking at all and didn’t want to stand or put weight on his legs,’’ said Jennifer Wilshusen, physical therapist. “He had weakness on his right side because of the surgery on the left side of his brain.’’

Hall said that with patients around Alex’s age, therapies are different.

“You have to make them fun,’’ she added. “You turn play into therapy. We’ve worked a lot on using both hands to throw a ball for example. When he first got here, his right arm kind of hung. He wasn’t using it much. Now he is using it. He is using both hands to play with his toys and throw a ball.’’

Alex was given two adjoining rooms in the unit. One was his regular patient room and the other room was his play and therapy room where his toys, including a plastic crane, became part of therapy.

Just Like Family

Alex Yule poses with the inpatient rehab teamSocially, Alex “owned’’ the floor during his stay. He made a lot of new friends among staff, patients, and visitors.

“The people here have been angels,’’ said Chris, who spent every night in her son’s room. “They’ve all gone above and beyond. Even when I needed emergency work on a tooth, they found it for me.

“They’ve done everything for us. They gave Alex two rooms, which definitely helped him improve.’’

Alex is now back at home, continuing outpatient therapies.

Before “graduating’’ from inpatient rehabilitation, Alex had special guests. Staff arranged for firefighters from the Davenport Fire Department to visit Alex. They brought along a one of DFD’s ladder trucks. Alex got to explore the truck, turn on the lights, and go for a ride. His face lit up with the lights and he gave a “thumbs up.’’

About Inpatient Rehab

The Genesis physical rehabilitation inpatient unit, located at Genesis Medical Center, West Central Park, serves persons of all ages experiencing a physical disability and/or cognitive impairment. The 39-bed comprehensive inpatient program is accredited by CARF, The Rehabilitation Accreditation Commission, for brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and comprehensive rehab. An inter-disciplinary team of specially trained rehabilitation professionals works together to provide services individually designed for each patient's unique needs.

Learn more or call us at 563-421-1421.

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