Available in print and downloadable PDF.

Issue 22013


It’s magical watching children discover how their little bodies work — seeing the look of accomplishment that crosses a child’s face when he or she first learns to stand, walk, eat with a fork or drink from a cup.

Children in the Texas Children’s Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit know the joy of achieving these little triumphs, but they are not babies stumbling preciously onto new skills. Like Reem Hasan, pictured, they are courageous children and teens who have come to the unit following a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, musculoskeletal or neurological disorder, stroke, or other disabling disease. Reem, 5, came to Texas Children’s for cancer treatment after her brain surgery in Kuwait and then spent eight weeks here in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit regaining the strength and skills to walk, talk and play.

Whether weakened by illness or disabled from an accident, the children share a determined resolve to relearn some of the most basic life skills — like how to feed themselves, brush their teeth, shower and use the restroom. It’s here, in the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit, that many children learn to stand again, firmly and proudly, before taking those first challenging steps — for a second time. This unit is where children become whole again.