Named New Jersey's Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for New Jersey, 2011!
We are pleased to introduce our new Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Champion for New Jersey, Gianna Trotter! Gianna was an inpatient at Children's Specialized Hospital after being in a car accident at one year old, which resulted in a traumatic brain injury. She has been receiving outpatient services with us for the past 13 years. She now volunteers at our hospital as well and is a huge inspiration to our younger patients. Watch Gianna's story here!
Gianna's story ...
Take one look at 14-year-old Gianna and it's hard to imagine that there was ever a time she wasn't 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 fastened 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 that she would not likely survive. Little Gianna was put into a medically-induced coma with a shunt in her brain, hopefully allowing her tiny body to heal.
Gianna lost most of her motor functions. She couldn't sit up or use her arms and legs. Her first starts at speech, were gone. Her parents were told she would need intensive, inpatient rehabilitation. Fortunately, Gianna came to Children's Specialized Hospital. She was diagnosed with right-side hemi-paresis, which is a weakness and paralysis similar to the effects of a stroke. Every day, she had physical and occupational therapy to strengthen the mobility and functionality of her right arm, leg, and hand. She took 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 13 years.
Gianna doesn't let any limitations hold her back. She continues to make progress. She also pays it forward, by speaking about her experience to younger children with similar injuries. We are so proud of our Champion. Congratulations, Gianna!