Less than one year ago, Ryan Bardellini was enjoying his senior year at the International School of Indiana. A standout fencer and student, Ryan’s future plans involved looking at colleges and planning his future. Ryan’s life changed in November of 2017. He was involved in a serious accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury. Ryan was in the hospital for three months, and at an inpatient rehabilitation facility for a few weeks. After his insurance coverage ran out, however, Ryan was discharged, and his recovery slowed.
“He went from having intensive therapy five days a week to being limited to 2 or 3 weekly visits,” says Ryan’s mother Kimberly. “He wasn’t ready to be discharged [from daily therapy], he needed much more.”
Through their own research for resources available to people with brain or spinal cord injuries, the Bardellini’s found NeuroHope to supplement the outpatient visits he was receiving at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI).
Ryan began coming to NeuroHope on days he did not have sessions at RHI so he could receive the most therapy and exercise he could during the critical first year after his injury. In March of 2018, Ryan was still significantly paralyzed on his right side and was just re-learning to take small steps with a walker. NeuroHope’s therapists and trainers have paid particular attention to his weaknesses and fragile gait pattern over the last 6 months, and have pushed him through vibration plate balancing, electrical stimulation, treadmill training, and core exercises.
By May of 2018, Ryan had gained significant return on his right side and had become strong enough to walk on his own across the stage at his high school graduation. Ryan’s journey, attitude, and hard work have been nothing short of inspiring. He has come far in his life-changing journey, but he is not finished yet. Today, he continues to work with NeuroHope’s trainers, who push him to continue to improve his balance, coordination, and overall strength. And college plans are right around the corner! He’s been accepted to Purdue University and is taking his first class this semester with an eye on returning as a full-time student soon.
As an accomplished fencer – his next goal is get back back on the strip!