Monday, April 08, 2019
by Kristen Ryrie • firstname.lastname@example.org
AMH | When you see Khloee Hall smile, you’d never know that the 13-year-old has been fighting a hard battle for three years.
“From where she started, she has come a long, long way,” says Bernice Guilander, Khloee’s grandmother. “She literally had to relearn everything. They said her brain took a hard hit.”
In August 2015, Khloee was like any other child gearing up for the start of a new school year. She was three days into fourth grade at Jerseyville East Elementary when she started getting terrible headaches.
She was taken to a St. Louis hospital and diagnosed with viral meningitis. While hospitalized, she had a seizure and spent 10 days in a drug-induced coma.
“We were so blessed and our prayers were answered when she came out of the coma,” Guilander says. “Although she had many issues, the medical team started calling Khloee ‘The Miracle Girl.’ The name followed her during her hospitalization, back home and throughout our community.”
As her recovery progressed, Khloee was transferred to the hospital’s neuro rehabilitation floor for occupational, physical and speech therapy.
“At first, she had to relearn to walk, how to write cursive, didn’t recognize money or vowels,” Guilander says. “Once she was reintroduced to these things, she bounced back really fast.”
When Khloee was discharged, the family felt blessed that she could continue the rehabilitation process closer to home at Alton Memorial Hospital’s Human Motion Institute, but her insurance only approved 20 visits. It was enough to cover her occupational and physical therapy sessions, but not speech. That’s when her family learned about the Mary Alice McCarthy Fund through Alton Memorial Health Services Foundation.
“She was a great candidate for the fund, which provides financial assistance for children to receive therapeutic services,” says Jo Ellen Corona, lead speech pathologist at the Human Motion Institute.
“We are very grateful and cannot praise the Foundation enough for the help it provided Khloee to continue working with her speech therapist, Jo Ellen,” says Guilander.
In the summer of 2017, Khloee suffered an unexpected loss, the sudden death of her mother, Rhonda Hall. A teacher, Hall was a constant presence during her daughter’s recovery and supplemented her therapy with activities at home. Khloee’s grandmother, also a former teacher, has been able to continue to fuel her progress.
Khloee’s and her family’s hard work and unwavering spirit paid off. She’s back playing sports and started doing her favorite thing again — showing cattle.
“I train the calf, practice and then show it,” says Khloee. “One year, I did the Carrollton show and the Jerseyville show. My uncle showed cattle, and it’s something I like to do with my dad.”
“When I see her out there, it’s amazing to see how far she’s come,” Guilander says.
Khloee is one of 50 children this year who have been helped by gifts to the Mary Alice McCarthy Fund.
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4/9/2019 4:27 PM
Wow ! How wonderful!