2018 Hero of Ability – Serena

By June 7, 2018Stories

In June 2016, Serena developed headaches, nausea and vomiting and these symptoms progressively worsened over the following two months. A CT scan revealed she had a brain tumor that required surgery to remove the brain tumor. The surgery went well for Serena, but resulted in Serena having a significant hemiparesis in her left arm, hand and leg and extreme fatigue. Serena was experiencing difficulties with mobility, balance and left-side coordination. After a period of intensive inpatient rehabilitation, she was referred to the Centre’s Community Brain Injury Program for Children and Youth. Serena made great progress with the support of the Program therapists; with her hard work and determination, she achieved all the occupational therapy goals. Now Serena is totally independent in self-care, able to carry out all the household chores and text with both thumbs. Serena returned to school full time in January 2017. She did very well in completing her Grade 11 French Immersion Program in spite of the challenges she faced, getting mostly As and Bs. Prior to her injury, Serena was a competitive triathlete. She has now begun to return to activities such as participating in school hiking club, rock climbing, trampoline and swimming. At the end of the horseback riding sessions, she won a dressage competition. Serena passed her driving test and now has her N licence. Serena’s determination, hard work and positive attitudes are truly remarkable. Her mom reports that people who meet Serena would never know she had a brain injury.

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