Meet Andrew Bos!
Meet Andrew Bos! Andrew is a favorite patient at the Generation Care Muskegon Clinic location. Andrew has been attending therapy at Generation Care after being involved in a motorcycle accident that resulted in a TBI (traumatic brain injury). March is Brain Injury Awareness Month and Andrew and his family wanted us to share his story and progress in therapy.
We asked Generation Care therapists, Laura Kate Covey, and Elizabeth Turner, to share their perspectives about Andrew’s care and how he’s progressing. Everyone at GC is so incredibly proud of the milestones Andrew has reached over many years of multidisciplinary care approaches since his accident. Early on in his journey, many medical professionals were concerned about Andrew surviving, but now, he’s THRIVING! (Be sure to watch the YouTube video his family shared with us embedded at the bottom of this post so you can see how far he’s come since 2008!)
From Laura Kate Covey, PT, DPT – How Andrew is doing in Physical Therapy
Andrew initially came into our clinic with a focus on increasing his independence in transfers and walking. He had previously not had any therapeutic services since his injury, and his family was not aware of the opportunities for improvement that Andrew could make since his accident. Initially, the focus of our sessions was to help connect him with other services in our clinic to improve in increasing his quality of life to the maximal amount we could.
Andrew is such an awesome person, he is very funny and is a very hard worker. I am pretty sure at the end of our sessions, no one left with a dry shirt on! No matter what exercise I task him with, Andrew does not falter with his enthusiasm and performance of the task. Whether it is walking unassisted in the pool, playing modified hockey in the Lite Gait (boy can he hit the ball!), tapping cones with minimal assistance, or taking my dad-jokes in stride, Andrew always gives his best!
When we first started Andrew was ambulating slowly with a 4 wheeled walker, with increased instability during standing without support. His family’s main goals were for him to be able to assist in daily grooming tasks, standing, and walking more frequently. Within a few sessions, Andrew was able to walk with increased speed for longer distances, stand with less support, assist in grooming tasks, and perform a floor to stand without assistance. I cannot stress how wonderful of a support system Andrew has, and how much that has contributed to his gains in therapy!
A coordinated team-oriented treatment approach between therapists, family, caregivers, and Andrew is what has assisted in his progress. Andrew is such a joy to work with and we cannot wait to help him achieve more goals in the future!
From Elizabeth Turner, MA, CCC-SLP – how Andrew is doing in Speech-Language Therapy
Andrew was referred to me by our interdisciplinary team who did a great job educating his family on the services we provide and how we may be able to enhance Andrew’s quality of life. He was initially referred to me because his speech is very difficult to understand. When he speaks, he talks very fast and slurs his words/sounds. Communication is so important and this was a barrier that both his family and our therapists thought could be improved upon!
Even prior to coming here, Andrew did a great job compensating for these challenges by creating his own signs for communication as well as staying patient with others when they ask him to repeat. He was able to teach us his lingo and we learned a lot about him this way.
Andrew is so much fun to work with! He has the best jokes and facial expressions. He is always upbeat and positive. Even though he may not be able to remember everything from session to session, we still see progress and carryover because his parents and caregivers continue to work with him at home – which is vital to him learning new skills.
During speech therapy, Andrew learns a variety of different exercises targeting the muscles and sequences for speech sound production. We frequently use a mirror for biofeedback and to help him stay on task. He also creates the BEST tongue twisters which we use to target oral agility. Andrew also works on learning different techniques and strategies to slow his rate, over-articulate his sounds, and talk with good breath to speech coordination so he doesn’t run out of air in the middle of a sentence. We focus on a tapping technique that he is able to use with his other therapists and at home which has become his reminder to slow down.
I also teach Andrew some exercises to improve his swallowing abilities with the long term goal of no longer needing thickened liquids. That is something we will continue to work on.
Besides working with Andrew, one of the best parts about this experience is working together with PT and OT to develop a plan that helped Andrew most. We meet as an interdisciplinary team biweekly to discuss what we were working on, teach each other the strategies that are helping in our individual sessions, suggest activities to keep things relevant and evaluate progress towards his goals.