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Children's Specialized Hospital Patients and Families

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Colby's Battle with COVID-19

"Devastated" is the word Gayle Douglas used to describe how she felt the moment she was told that her son needed to be intubated and placed on a ventilator. Colby, who lives with Down syndrome, had contracted COVID-19. Less than a year ago, Colby was celebrating his 1st place win at the Special Olympics in the freestyle swimming event. At this moment, the possibility of Colby ever returning to the pool was rapidly vanishing.

Colby had grown so extremely weak due to months on the vent that he was sent to Children's Specialized Hospital (CSH) for rehabilitation therapies. Colby had been living with the devastating effects of COVID-19 for nearly three months. Yet within only three weeks at CSH, our doctors were able to remove his ventilator and trach - somthing previously thought impossible. Our CSH team worked with Colby's parents to customize a rehab schedule that had him rapidly progressing. Soon the Douglas family was celebrating milestones that Colby had first achieved in early childhood but lost due to COVID-19: speaking, eating, brushing teeth, getting dressed -- each day regaining his independence.

136 Days after his diagnosis, Colby's health team lined the halls at CSH cheering in celebration of his recovery. Today, Colby can be found practicing his freestyle at the pool. Gayle is overjoyed that thanks to CSH, she finally sees "Colby being Colby again."

With your gift to Children's Specialized Hospital Foundation, you are helping kids like Colby get the life-changing care they need. You are giving hope to families and improving the future for children with special healthcare needs. 


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