Aidan Schellings had a hard time talking, so his therapists tried singing. It worked.
The 19-year-old fractured his skull and suffered a traumatic brain injury while doing a trick on his skateboard at Seattle's Greenlake skate park in April. He was not wearing a helmet.
Doctors told the family Aidan might not walk and talk again.
In late May, they flew Aidan, on a gurney, to Denver’s Craig Hospital.
He is now walking, with assistance, swallowing solid foods, and singing.
Whether it’s Neil Diamond or Johnny Cash, Aidan has no problem singing along with his music therapist at Craig Hospital.
”Music just helps kind of access another part of the brain that incorporates language, so those words can flow a little bit easier,” said Allison Heintzelman, Aidan’s Speech and Language Pathologist.
”To see what has happened is simply remarkable,” said Aidan’s father, Steve, “We were told he didn’t have much of a future.”
The family is blown away with his progress, but they’ve been warned at some point their son may stop getting better.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet that I might have to take care of him for the rest of my life,” said Willem Schellings, Aidan’s 21-year-old brother, “If he plateaus and then doesn’t get better, that could affect my goals and dreams that I have, but I’m willing to sacrifice.”
His family wants Aidan’s story to serve as a warning as to what can happen if you ride a skateboard without a helmet.
”It’s just a huge, huge impact that was so preventable,” said Aidan’s mother, Rebecca Schellings.