Summer is upon us, and kids will be out riding bikes, playing ball, swimming and doing all the other things kids like to do during their school vacation. This year, such activities will be particularly special for one Plainville family whose son Troy is now able to participate in these common childhood pastimes more readily and confidently.
Troy Mackey was born apparently healthy and without complications. However during his first year, his family noticed that he seemed to favor his right side. He did not crawl and often sat with his left hand clasped shut. He had his first grand mal seizure at about one year of age. After much testing, it was determined that Troy must have suffered a stroke-like event sometime before or during his birth. The family traveled to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City to see a neurologist, and for a while medication was able to control his seizures. As Troy grew and adjustments in his medication were needed, the family worked with their local physician, Dr. Dan Sanchez. They also worked with the local school district, whose therapists were involved in Troy’s care. The care was helping, but the therapists provided by the school district were only able to see Troy once a week, and sometimes less.
Then, in 2013, Troy came to the Rooks County Health Center (RCH). Troy was able to access the services of their newly-recruited physical therapist and occupational therapist. A team was formed of Dr. Sanchez, physical therapist A.J. Thomas, occupational therapist Kyle Ahlenstorf, and Troy’s neurologist in Kansas City. A plan of care was developed to focus on Troy’s strengths as a means of working on his needs. Besides improving his gross and fine motor skills, the therapy sessions give Troy confidence to try new things, persevere until he succeeds and become an advocate for himself. Troy’s mother, Heather, says, “Troy’s life was touched beyond our imagination,” and the family looks forward to what the future holds for him.
Now RCH is hoping to expand its therapy and rehabilitation areas to serve the growing number of people of all ages who come to them for services. Being able to receive services conveniently close to home can make a huge difference in how well a family is able to care for a member with significant health needs. Traveling long distances to receive needed therapy or health care services requires time, often time off from work and the expenses of gas and staying away from home. It can put tremendous stress on families. Depending on a family’s resources, it may mean the difference between receiving and not receiving services.
So, if you see Troy heading off to the pool on his bike this summer, give him a wave. To paraphrase a familiar quote, Troy and his family are just a few of the folks who have found there is “no place like close to home” when it comes to accessing the services needed to make life really awesome!