Clinton’s Story

Posted by on Feb 26, 2013 in Stories | 0 comments

Giving Hope to the Hopeless

Two years ago, a single mother suffered a seizure while driving her two children home from school in South Los Angeles. The children survived, but were devastated to learn their mom died instantly. 4-year-old Clinton suffered a severe spinal cord injury. Tragically the surgery to correct the damage left Clinton in a wheelchair, permanently paralyzed.

After months in the hospital, Clinton went to live with the only family member willing to provide the constant care he needed, his 73-year-old great grandmother. Sadly, she couldn’t take care of his 9-year-old sister too, so Clinton’s sister moved to San Diego to live with an aunt.

Things were difficult for Clinton and his grandmother. He had angry outbursts, suffered repeated nightmares about the accident and would not sleep alone. Clinton was fearful of riding in a car without the windows rolled down and refused to talk about the accident.

After being diagnosed with severe Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Clinton and his grandmother were referred to Hathaway-Sycamores. A team quickly began to work with the pair and the healing process started. From relaxation techniques to intensive therapy, over many months Clinton finally began to put together his story of trauma and loss and his tiny voice was heard, “I was mad. My sister could still walk and I’m stuck in this chair and I can’t run.”

Today the feisty first grader is socializing with classmates, sleeping alone and continuing to work on his anger. It is a process, and there are still challenges to be met, but Clinton is making tremendous strides as he moves forward into his life filled with HOPE for the possibilities in his future. Clinton’s grandmother recently noted, “I don’t know where we’d be today without the help of Hathaway-Sycamores.”


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