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A Team of Professionals Gave a Young Man His Dream Back

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A Team of Professionals Gave a Young Man His Dream Back

At Carson Valley Health Rehabilitation and Outpatient Therapy, our skilled team is trained to treat patients with a wide range of injuries to help them reach maximum independence and mobility. These injuries may include stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, balance disorders, orthopedic conditions, neurological disorders, and many others.

Our goal is to help patients reach their maximum mobility and restore their quality of life to the best of our abilities. At times recovery can involve multiple specialists on our team working together to help our patients reach their goals. At Carson Valley Health, continuity of care is our specialty.

Extreme Sports Turn to Extreme Injury

In 2020, then 19-year-old Douglas County resident Jayden Foster was involved in a dirt biking accident while camping in Fallon. With the help of his quick-thinking friends, Jayden was rushed to the trauma center Reno where he was in a coma for four weeks. The accident resulted in 11 facial fractures, a compressed spine and a traumatic brain injury (TBI). He spent six weeks fading in and out of consciousness while also battling COVID-19.

“It was definitely a harsh reality waking up and the diagnosis was that I was supposed to be secluded to a wheelchair for the rest of my life,” Jayden said. “I did my first steps at Renown because one of the nurses was super encouraging to my mother trying to give her a sense of ‘hey, don't give up, let's get him walking and see if he can do this’.”

After a seven-week hospital stay, he was transferred to a TBI specialty facility in Colorado where he spent seven more weeks undergoing physical and speech therapy. When he returned home to Gardnerville, Jayden and his family looked for local rehabilitation programs so he could continue his treatment, which led them to Carson Valley Health.

Aquatic, Speech, and Physical Therapy

Jayden began his journey at CVH with occupational therapy. His therapist Claudia knew that aquatic therapy would be beneficial for Jayden. Aquatic therapy, working in the water, helped Jayden focus on technique and strength for his muscles, while also regaining his sense of balance and stability.

Jayden said Claudia encouraged him to keep working and never give up.

“Claudia was always showing up with a smile on her face,” Jayden said. “She just doesn't treat it like a job, like she treats you like friends and family. She was always trying to encourage me, which fit my personality because I don't say no unless it's impossible.”

With Claudia’s encouragement and support, he completed his aquatic therapy journey and passed his assessment to continue with physical and speech therapies.

Cleared for the use of weights and other equipment, Jayden continued treatment, working with Courtney for physical therapy to continue to regain strength and balance outside of the water. Jayden said Courtney was able to communicate a shared understanding with him, which he said not only helped him in his physical recovery but in his mental recovery as well.

Jayden also worked with speech and language pathologist Selah on his memory, focus, attention, and impulsivity. Jayden aspired to return to the University of Nevada Reno and study mechanical engineering, so Selah customized his treatment plan to include problem-solving, sequencing and math-related processes.

Road to Recovery

Jayden’s doctors gave him a regimen to slowly return to work, school, and everyday life. Part of his regimen was to take a few classes to see if his memory could hold the information he was learning, which was a concern after his TBI.

Now, two years after his accident, Jayden has returned to school at the University of Nevada, Reno, to finish his degree in mechanical engineering and received a promotion at his job at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino in Reno.

Jayden said he recognizes how far he has come since his injury and how much it has impacted him.

“The brain injury changed my personality to a sense of how I look at things and how I respond to things and how I treat others,” Jayden said. “[I] just don't take little things for granted [anymore].”

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are serious injuries to the head, caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or a penetrating injury. TBIs are a major cause of death and disability in America, depending on the severity of the injury to the brain. Motor vehicle crashes, falls and assaults are all common ways for a TBI to occur. In our region, injuries from winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding are also common occurrences for TBIs.

TBIs often occur suddenly, but there are steps you can take to decrease your risk, including wearing your seatbelt in all motor vehicles and wearing the appropriate headgear during sports and outdoor activities such as winter sports, biking, or driving off-road vehicles..

If you or a loved one has been in a serious accident, or you suspect a mild TBI, or concussion, has occurred, seek medical help immediately.

While treatment at the CVH Rehabilitation Center requires a provider referral, you can learn more about our orthopedic rehab, physical therapy, or occupational therapy services, by calling us at 775-782-1519.

The CVH Rehab and Outpatient Therapy Center is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm.