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Certified Child Life Specialist joins Pediatric team at Mary Free Bed

Grand Rapids, Mich. — Certified Child Life Specialist Kelsey Combs has joined Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital to help its youngest patients cope with their illness and hospitalization. Combs, who comes to Mary Free Bed from Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, will provide services that educate, support and prepare young children and teenagers.  She will collaborate…
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Silas helps inspire ‘SO Awesome’ gift

UPDATED January 19, 2016: Silas Camp, a former patient treated about 4 years ago for plagiocephaly and torticollis, visited Mary Free Bed’s Outpatient Pediatric Therapy team with a special gift for other young patients. During the holiday season, his family’s business, SO Awesome, gives back to the West Michigan community through its “One for One”…
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Bissell’s Howl-O-Ween boosts pediatric & pet therapy programs

Sometimes, a wagging tail is just the motivation a patient needs to push through an intensive therapy session. That’s where “pet recreation professionals” like Walter and Charlie come into play. The two friendly (and hard-working) dogs are part of the animal-assisted therapy program at Mary Free Bed. Penny Richards, an occupational therapist at Mary Free…
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‘They believe in Anna, so Anna believes in herself’

Guest blog by Juliana Morano, mother to pediatric patient Anna Morano Anna was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate. She is being treated by Dr. Mann, which is where she first met her speech therapist, Jenn Bobb. Due to her cleft, Anna was having a very difficult time making sounds and forming words…
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Teens raise money for limb difference program

Recent Hudsonville High School graduate Bailey Gulch was all smiles when she handed a white envelope to Mary Free Bed Annual Fund Director Jocelyn Dettloff. It contained checks totaling $1,000, all made payable to Mary Free Bed. During her last semester of high school, 17-year-old Bailey spearheaded a fundraiser to help with the cost of…
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New pink helmet elicits lots of smiles [Photo Gallery]

Violet Pratt is a spunky 4-year-old. With big brown eyes and a wide smile, she twirls and laughs as she waits with her family in an Orthotics & Prosthetics examination room at Mary Free Bed. On this May afternoon, Violet is here to receive a helmet – “a pink one,” she tells Kim Nequist, the…
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One-year-old girl defies the odds in outpatient therapy

At Mary Free Bed, we’re daily witnesses to our patients’ determination, grit and strength. This is particularly true of our youngest (and most vulnerable) patients. Aubry Maronek, who recently celebrated her first birthday, embodies this spirit of hope and resolve. After being diagnosed with hemimegalencephaly — a rare neurological condition in which one half of the brain is…
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A vintage look at kids of courage

From the Grand Rapids Press – Sunday, April 12, 2015 CLICK the image to open a larger version in a new window. For more Mary Free Bed historical photos go to: bit.ly/maryfreebed

Tearra Garth – A Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Story

Editor’s note: As part of our holiday campaign, Mary Free Bed is asking former patients to tell us about their rehabilitation experience. What follows is one of those stories. Mary Free Bed patient, Tearra Garth, has had quite a journey these past few weeks and is very excited about her future… Listen as Kent Riddle,…
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