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#MiracleMonday – Meet Timothy!

For a child whose life revolved around sports, nothing is more devastating than an entire family forced to watch a child’s athletic spirit and ability fall under the radar.  For eight-year old, Timothy Travisano of Bridgewater, New Jersey, he quickly realized that an innocent trip to the driving range would change everything.

On February 16, 2013 at 1:15 p.m., mother Karen Travisano, eleven year old Jonathon, eight year old Timothy, and seven year old Lucas were enjoying an afternoon at the driving range.  In a bizarre turn of events, Timothy took a blow to the head by his brother’s driver, when Jonathon accidentally struck him.  The eight year old went down instantly, surprisingly remaining conscious, but eerily quiet throughout the entire horrifying drive to the emergency room.  His mother knew despite not being seen by a doctor that her son had suffered an obvious concussion.

Upon arrival at the emergency room, Timothy had still not made a sound, spoken a word, or moved.  His silence was chilling.

“He didn’t cry or anything during stitches,” she said.

After a terrifying afternoon for the entire family, the brave patient was released from the emergency room and given strict orders to be off all electronics.  Low brain stimulation was necessary for his injury to heal.  The concussion specialist assured the Travisano family that with two weeks of much needed rest, Timothy would be fine.  Karen decided it best for her son to be home schooled during that time.

However, the two weeks came and went, but Timothy’s ordeal did not.  Despite the concussion specialist’s words of assurance, Timothy continued to struggle with unbearable symptoms; suffering from horrendous headaches on a daily basis and crying constantly.  When Karen brought her son back to the doctor he had not improved.  Continuing to suffer splitting headaches, Timothy was also vomiting and didn’t have much energy to perform daily tasks.

“It was difficult to look into his eyes and see them so glazed over.  He couldn’t do anything,” said Karen.

Not long after that, Karen struggled to concentrate at the gym and found herself at her wits end.  The entire gym of people seemed to notice that Karen was having a difficult time with something, when one gentleman made a recommendation that would change her son’s life.  A stranger recommended Karen takes Timothy to Children’s Specialized Hospital in Mountainside, New Jersey, to see Pediatric Neurologist Dr. Andrea Richards.

After Dr. Richards contacted Karen, the two decided it best that Karen take Timothy in to have him evaluated.  Dr. Richards had spoken with Karen prior to the evaluation and thought Timothy was suffering from Post-Concussive Syndrome.

When Dr. Richards was able to get a thorough look at her patient, it was obvious to her that the child had significant losses due to the accident and that, was serious.  Her treatment recommendation for Timothy’s condition was Cognitive Rehabilitation, a therapy used to help brain injury patients or those cognitively impaired restore normal or close to normal function.

When Timothy began the treatment two months later in April of 2013, a lot changed for the Travisano family.  Karen was forced to leave her job after the accident in order to accommodate the two trips to Mountainside for Timothy’s Cognitive Rehab that was necessary everyday.  Karen made that journey everyday for a few months and slowly his fog lifted.

Timothy began to notice just how drastically his life had changed.  For someone that so effortlessly played and kept up with his siblings, he now struggled to do so, and the idea of being unable to play like other kids his age, heightened Timothy’s frustrations.  That summer, the usually physical young boy found himself losing interest in what he always loved to do.  He stopped playing baseball—Timothy’s lifelong passion and hobby.

The whole accident, months of rehab and ordeals, made Timothy acutely aware of his body’s physical atrophies.  He knew he was not the same person he was before the accident, and yet, he struggled and fought in a long desperate battle to prove that he was unchanged.  Timothy spent his time throwing caution to the wind.  He went back to a few baseball practices to try and get himself back to the player he used to be.

The Travisanos are a family of baseball fans and when Timothy picked up a baseball again, the family was thrilled, until they really saw how much his ability had declined since his concussion.

His mother, Karen said, “It was like watching a three year old throw.”

Timothy’s accident has without a doubt taken a toll on him and the family, but they say that despite such hardship, a lot of good has come out of such trying circumstances.

Timothy has since started swimming—even won two events, and has tried out for tournament baseball this fall.

It has been nearly a year and Timothy is now beginning to come to terms with what happened to him that day and his transition into recovery.  Today he can say with confidence, “I used to remember that, but I had a concussion.”  Despite so much changing, eight year old Timothy Travisano finds a way to move forward.