Joel’s Story

Joel loves swimming, fishing, bowling, playing Buddy Ball baseball, getting A’s and B’s in school, and telling jokes. Unstoppable Joel does all of these things from his power chair and with his communication device. You see, Joel has cerebral palsy.

Joel’s journey with Nationwide Children’s Hospital began the day he was born due to his pulmonary hypertension, bilateral pneumothorax, and a severely elevated white blood cell count.  He spent eighteen days in the NICU with uncertain chances of survival. After he was discharged home, he was followed regularly by the neonatal clinic and the family was in regular contact with his pediatrician.  Despite following all of the recommendations such as head and neck control, playing with objects to work on grasp, etc., Joel did not seem to be progressing developmentally.  So an MRI was scheduled. The results were nothing short of devastating – a brain injury. Little nine-month-old Joel was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP). He immediately became a patient of Nationwide Children’s Cerebral Palsy Program. He was soon enrolled in physical, occupational, and speech therapies and continued the weekly sessions for six years. Today, he continues his speech therapy sessions bi-weekly and is on consultative status with physical and occupational therapies. At 4, Joel underwent g-tube placement to receive nutrition and has been thriving because of it.

The Comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital emphasizes excellence in clinical care while focusing on translational research to improve therapies for children and adults with CP. The cornerstone of our program is the Interdisciplinary Team Clinic where families see a variety of specialists in a single visit. These include Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics; Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Orthopedics; Nursing; Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy; Nutrition; and Social Work. Testing, such as X-rays or lab work, is also available.

“When I think about Nationwide Children’s I think grateful, helpful, calming and supportive. I am grateful for all of the care my son has received from all levels of employees. There have been times, in this hectic life, that I have felt calm once inside the walls of the hospital. It is where we fit in and where I know Joel will get whatever support he needs to continue to grow into himself and his diagnosis. As a parent, it is hard to hear the news of your child having a disability, but NCH helped us handle it with grace and determination,” says Heather, Joel’s mom.

And determined he is. “Never letting his diagnosis interfere with what he wants to do, he is now a power chair driving, AAC device using, spunky kid who is thriving in his life,” says Heather. “Milestones mean more when I have watched how hard he has worked to achieve them.”

Yes, Joel knows all about milestones. He will truly be an inspiration to the participants who pass through his mile at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon.

http://nchflutter.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Joel1000.jpeg
http://nchflutter.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Joel-Buyerx300.jpeg
  • Name: Joel B.Joel Buyer
  • Condition(s): Cerebral Palsy
  • Age at Treatment: 8
  • Age Today: 10/07/200810 Years

Joel loves swimming, fishing, bowling, playing Buddy Ball baseball, getting A’s and B’s in school, and telling jokes. Unstoppable Joel does all of these things from his power chair and with his communication device. You see, Joel has cerebral palsy.

Joel’s journey with Nationwide Children’s Hospital began the day he was born due to his pulmonary hypertension, bilateral pneumothorax, and a severely elevated white blood cell count.  He spent eighteen days in the NICU with uncertain chances of survival. After he was discharged home, he was followed regularly by the neonatal clinic and the family was in regular contact with his pediatrician.  Despite following all of the recommendations such as head and neck control, playing with objects to work on grasp, etc., Joel did not seem to be progressing developmentally.  So an MRI was scheduled. The results were nothing short of devastating – a brain injury. Little nine-month-old Joel was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy (CP). He immediately became a patient of Nationwide Children’s Cerebral Palsy Program. He was soon enrolled in physical, occupational, and speech therapies and continued the weekly sessions for six years. Today, he continues his speech therapy sessions bi-weekly and is on consultative status with physical and occupational therapies. At 4, Joel underwent g-tube placement to receive nutrition and has been thriving because of it.

The Comprehensive Cerebral Palsy Program at Nationwide Children’s Hospital emphasizes excellence in clinical care while focusing on translational research to improve therapies for children and adults with CP. The cornerstone of our program is the Interdisciplinary Team Clinic where families see a variety of specialists in a single visit. These include Neurodevelopmental Pediatrics; Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Orthopedics; Nursing; Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy; Nutrition; and Social Work. Testing, such as X-rays or lab work, is also available.

“When I think about Nationwide Children’s I think grateful, helpful, calming and supportive. I am grateful for all of the care my son has received from all levels of employees. There have been times, in this hectic life, that I have felt calm once inside the walls of the hospital. It is where we fit in and where I know Joel will get whatever support he needs to continue to grow into himself and his diagnosis. As a parent, it is hard to hear the news of your child having a disability, but NCH helped us handle it with grace and determination,” says Heather, Joel’s mom.

And determined he is. “Never letting his diagnosis interfere with what he wants to do, he is now a power chair driving, AAC device using, spunky kid who is thriving in his life,” says Heather. “Milestones mean more when I have watched how hard he has worked to achieve them.”

Yes, Joel knows all about milestones. He will truly be an inspiration to the participants who pass through his mile at the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Columbus Marathon & ½ Marathon.

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