The teen’s incredible rehabilitation is a story worth sharing.
A 14-year-old boy paralyzed during a tornado made a miraculous recovery after walking out of the hospital weeks after being confined.
Kyle Koehn suffered a fracture that “involved every vertebrae in his back,” according to Dr. Connie Simmons, a doctor at Ranken-Jordan Pediatric Bridge Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.
It all began last December when a devastating tornado caused destruction over 200 miles across four states. The Koehn family from Dresden, Tennessee, were among its many victims.
They had just returned from dinner when a friend informed them about the tornado warnings.
“He made the comment, keep your shoes on tonight,” said Darwin Koehn, Kyle’s dad.
As the twister got closer, the Koehns gathered in a hallway.
“The house started dusting a little bit and you could see it and I was like, this is for real,” said Kimberly, Kyle’s mom.
“I dove for the hall and no more than sat down and heard the house start splintering, and that’s the last we remember until we woke up in the field,” Darwin recalled.
The tornado ravaged two hundred homes, two churches, over twenty businesses, and the firehouse in Dresden.
The strong winds propelled most of the Koehn family 180 feet away from their home. Kyle landed a few yards away, moaning from pain.
“And I said right there, that boy is hurt bad,” Darwin said.
“I don’t remember the pain so much. I just remember it was cold and it was wet,” Kyle said.
Two weeks after the violent storm, Kyle was admitted to Ranken-Jordan.
Dr. Simmons said he “had no feeling from his umbilicus, his belly button and basically down.”
Despite his condition, Kyle is never one to back down.
“We knew this was a kid that was going to fight hard,” Dr. Simmons said.
Ranken-Jordan’s mission is to help kids transition from the hospital to home, and Kyle was determined to make that happen. He devoted himself to his rehabilitation sessions, going on a treadmill and working with his therapists to walk down the stairs.
“They’ll make you do stuff that you think is really hard but they’ll make you do it,” the brave teen said.
Remarkably, the rest of Kyle’s family was still in Tennessee while he was recovering. Kimberly and Darwin were also at the hospital recuperating from their broken bones.
“The first time we saw him was here six weeks later. That’s how long it took for us to recover enough to travel up here,” Kimberly said.
After three months of persevering, the day of Kyle’s release finally came. His friends and family picked him up, and his school chartered a bus from Tennessee to bring him home after he was discharged.
After intensive rehabilitation exercises, Kyle walked out of the hospital triumphantly. It’s surely a happy moment, but it’s quite bittersweet for the family.
“It’s going to be hard to leave, honestly,” said Kimberly. “They have become very dear friends to us.”
“They’ve been wonderful, couldn’t ask for better,” Kyle added.
Although he is out of the hospital, Kyle’s road to recovery still has a long way to go.
“We’re expecting that to continue to improve so he can return to some fun teenage activities,” Dr. Simmons said.
Kyle’s dad is in the logging business, and he hopes to be able to help him this summer.
It might still be a while before Kyle is back to doing everything he used to, but kudos to him for showing us that with the right attitude, you can take charge of your healing.
Check out the video below to learn more about Kyle’s incredible rehabilitation story.
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