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It’s hard to imagine that there was ever a time when Gianna was not on the move. This fun loving, straight A student is making the most of every moment of her life. When Gianna was only 12 months old, she was involved in a serious car accident that changed her life. Despite being securely seated in an infant seat, Gianna suffered a severe head injury which caused swelling and damage to her brain. Her prognosis wasn’t good. Doctors told her parents she most likely wouldn’t survive. She was put into a medically induced coma which allowed her tiny little body to heal.

Gianna lost most of her motor functions. Her parents were told she would need intensive rehabilitation and she was diagnosed with right side hemi paresis which is weakness and paralysis similar to the effects of a stroke.  Fortunately, Gianna went to Children’s Specialized Hospital, the largest pediatric healthcare rehabilitation system in the U.S. and everyday she had intensive physical occupational therapy to strengthen her mobility and functionality of her right arm, leg and hand.  She did speech therapy to help with feeding, speaking and cognitive functions.  After several months, Gianna was able to join the hospital’s outpatient therapy program where she has continued for the past several years.

Today Gianna is still partially paralyzed on her right side but doesn’t let anything hold her back! She attends the Ocean County Performing Arts Academy on the Lakehurst Naval Base and loves fashion, the beach, and spending time with friends!

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