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A princess of a patient: Jerrensia enjoys royal treatment

This is an update to a Nov. 18, 2015, blog about the Kroll family. Visit that post for additional photos and details about Jen Kroll’s viral Facebook message.   Like many girls her age, six-year-old Jerrensia Caroline Kroll loves Disney princesses. Elsa, the noble heroine of the animated film “Frozen,” ranks high on her list of…
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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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‘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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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

My Disability Helps Motivate Me!

Oksana Parmenter was eight years old before she realized that people in wheelchairs could do more than simply sit around and watch the world go by. Born with spina bifida and raised in a Lithuanian orphanage, Oksana was told she’d never play basketball or swim in a pool. But then Jan and Bill Parmenter adopted…
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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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Young Jack Stoner doesn’t let cerebral palsy keep him down

Nine-year-old Jack Stoner smiles a lot these days. He’s often setting aside his wheeled walker in favor of crutches and even endeavoring to take a few steps without the aid of either. “My toes are forward. It’s easier to walk and I can go faster,” he says. In early October, Jack underwent a selective dorsal…
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