Story of Recovery: Randall Spears is Learning to Walk Again with Cerebral Palsy

Clinical Expertise

Mar 23, 2022

Medical Reviewer: Steve Walczak, PT, DPT, PCS, CSCS
Last Updated: June 30, 2022

Randall Spears enjoys the things most five-year-olds enjoy – superheroes, toys cars and sports. He loves to play, but his cerebral palsy can sometimes make that challenging.

Cerebral palsy is a result of an injury to the brain that occurs within the first two years of life, typically at birth. For Randall, it affects the tone and spasticity in his legs making it hard to walk. In an effort to improve his mobility and help him get back to playing with his peers, he underwent a selective dorsal rhizotomy, an elective back surgery to help with strengthening and managing the tone of his legs.

Post-surgery protocols recommend intensive rehabilitation services. Randall and his family live in Crestview, Fla., and there were no inpatient rehabilitation options available for him. His mom, Moesha Ewing said, “I wanted the best for him and everyone told me he needed Brooks. We made the decision to come, even though it is farther from home.”

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Since arriving at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital – University Campus in Jacksonville, Fla., Randall began an intensive therapy schedule that included physical, occupational, speech, recreation and music therapies. He also received care from our neuropsychology team.

His physical therapist, Steve Walczak, PT, DPT, PCS, said, “We have helped him by creating an individualized routine and rewards system to improve his overall engagement. He has also received serial casting services in order to help make the most of his surgery by improving the range of motion in his ankles. Overall, he has gotten much stronger and improved the quality of his walking.”

If you ask Randall what he likes best about Brooks, he will tell you, “I get to play and play and play.” Our pediatric therapists are specially trained to make therapy fun for our littlest patients while meeting all of their recovery goals. Moesha says her favorite part of being at Brooks was “just seeing Randall get better.”

Medical Reviewer

Steve Walczak, PT, DPT, PCS, CSCS

Board-Certified Specialist in Pediatric Physical Therapy, Pediatrics and Brain Injury Program at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital
Steve Walczak is a physical therapist and therapy lead at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital where he cares for all pediatrics and adults with developmental disabilities. He has been practicing since 2017 and is a board certified specialist in pediatric physical therapy. His non-clinical roles include leading development for the inpatient pediatric program and inpatient PADD (Program for Adults with Developmental Disabilities), serving as faculty in the pediatric physical therapy residency, supporting research related activities in the system, and teaching continued education for our Institute of Higher Learning.
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