Archived Stories

Lucas's Story

Dec 27, 2020

When Devin and Nicole Fulton brought their adopted son Lucas home from the hospital, they were excited to create a loving home for their healthy baby. But that soon changed when Lucas was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Doctors put a shunt in his head to keep the water off his brain, but it became infected, requiring another surgery and a new shunt.

“It just became one issue after another,” said Nicole. “He couldn’t hear, his vision wasn’t doing well, he couldn’t roll over and he had trouble eating. All of the milestones you’re excited for, he didn’t hit.”

After visiting several different specialists, a pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Michigan suggested therapy at DMC’s Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM). Lucas started outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapies at RIM’s Novi Center when he was 12 months old. Twice a week, therapists taught him how to eat, talk and move.

“They were so passionate about helping him,” said Nicole. “They’d get down on the floor and do very kid-centric things with him, like playing with different textures, using foam pads and crawling through tunnels. He had a lot of fun. His therapist, Stephanie, sent us home with exercises to work on and even during the COVID-19 pandemic, she would call to check in.”

Nicole says the first time Lucas ate a fruit snack, they cried. The first time they heard his voice, they cried again. At one point early on, the Fulton’s questioned whether Lucas would ever be able to walk. Today, he’s running around the house, climbing on everything and playing with his two sisters.

Lucas’ development is now only six months behind other kids his age, and they credit RIM.

“Our goal is to help Lucas live his best life possible, and RIM has helped give him a great life,” said Nicole. “We’re so excited for what the future holds for Lucas.”

Two of the state’s best known names in rehabilitation –the Children’s Hospital of Michigan and RIM –work together to provide comprehensive rehabilitation services to children. Combine unparalleled rehabilitation services with nationally recognized pediatric subspecialty programs, and a commitment to family centered care – the result is an integrated program that meets the unique needs of children who have impairments or conditions due to injury, illness or developmental disability.

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