When he was just 3½ months old, Christian Coghill, now 13, experienced a case of shaken baby syndrome. He suffered a traumatic injury on the left side of his brain that affected the right side of his body and led to cerebral palsy. In 2014, Christian’s hip was partially dislocated—a common problem with cerebral palsy.
Originally, orthopaedic surgeon Ranjit Varghese, M.D. thought Christian would need two separate surgeries to complete the realignment. He also thought Christian might need to wear a body cast after the operation. In November 2014, however, Varghese was able to combine the surgeries into one and use only a brace on Christian. See Christian’s positive attitude throughout his rehabilitation process in the image slideshow below.
A Mother and Son Journey
Michelle Coghill embraces her son, Christian, during her retirement ceremony in June 2014 at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling in Washington, D.C. Just one month later, Coghill learned that Christian needed surgery for a partially dislocated hip.
Home for the Holidays
In November 2014, orthopaedic surgeon Ranjit Varghese performed Christian’s operation. For the next six weeks, Christian (center, wearing a Santa hat) recovered at home with his family.
On the Road to Recovery
After a recovery period at home, Christian underwent six weeks of inpatient rehabilitation at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in 2015. “The team here keeps the patient involved,” says Coghill.
Moving Right Along
Throughout the rehabilitation process, Christian always maintained a positive attitude. “He’s the happiest kid you’ll ever meet,” says Coghill, “Even going through all this.”
Taking Baby Steps
Completing six weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, Christian began outpatient rehab. “I can tell he is stronger and can do more each day,” says Coghill. “He can stand for extended periods of time and is practicing walking with a cane. He is taking baby steps.”