Christian Thomas is featured in the December edition of Potential magazine published by Johns Hopkins University.
Christian, an eighth-grader from Ferndale at Monsignor Slade Catholic School, was born with cerebral palsy and hydrocephalus. The 13-year-old’s story is personal for me — he’s my youngest nephew. I remember the day he was born. My brother Steve and sister-in-law Elena were told that he’d probably have significant development delays; normal walking and running would be an unknown.
Tears still come to my eyes when I remember the day at Mass when he was about 2-years-old and the organist started playing a hymn. Like most toddlers, he was trying to conduct the music, except Christian couldn’t pick up his left arm to lead the choir. His “Mommy I can’t” had all of us wiping tears away.
But, Steve and Elena took advantage of every physical therapy and early intervention program available. One of those was CIMT (constraint induced bimanual therapy) developed by Frank Pidcock at Kennedy Krieger. The therapeutic program benefits CP patients with significant differences in strength on one side by casting the stronger limb to force the child to use the weaker limb.
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