After suffering a spinal cord injury, James Leonard beat the odds and is back on the ski slopes, thanks to the Pediatric Neurosurgery Center at Dell Children's.
At 14, James Leonard lived to ski, competed in national championships and looked forward to a bright skiing future. In July 2007 while attending summer camp in Austin, he dove into a lake head first, colliding with a rock. He was air lifted to Dell Children's, where doctors discovered a spinal cord injury and feared he would remain a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. The same determination and drive James once used to succeed on the ski slopes was being used to fight a much more serious battle. Two weeks later, thanks to his spirit and the excellent care he and his family received through the Pediatric Neurosurgery Center and Dell Children's, James walked out of the medical center.
"James was so lucky to be near Dell Children's at the time of his accident," says James' mother, Rochelle. "We are so proud of his determination and spirit, especially through many months of rehabilitation and training. He never gave up!"
Two years later, James is back on the slopes at his home in Vail, Colorado, where he enjoys recreational skiing. He also plays Frisbee golf and enjoys video and film production.
Pediatric Neurosurgery Program – Funding Priorities
The Pediatric Neurosurgery Program at Dell Children's brings hope to families and their children with neurological conditions.
The Pediatric Neurosurgery Program at Dell Children's Medical Center is the first of its kind in Central Texas that helps children with neurological conditions that sometimes require complex medical care and is divided into four areas:
- The Pediatric Neuro-Oncology Program is committed to improve the quality of life and survival rate for children with tumors of the brain and/or spinal cord through state-of-the-art research-based care.
- The Pediatric Comprehensive Epilepsy Program offers medical and surgical treatment for children whose epilepsies cannot be treated by conventional medical therapy. The aim of treatment is to attain early diagnosis of this severely debilitating condition and guide treatments instrumental in helping the child reach his or her full cognitive potential.
- The Spina Bifida Program cares for children born with birth defects of the brain and spinal cord affecting the nervous system.
- The Neurotrauma Program provides rapid state-of-the-art care for the child with an injury to the brain or spinal cord and is integrated into the Pediatric Trauma Program.
The Pediatric Neurosurgery Program offers coordinated and comprehensive care by working closely with primary care pediatricians and other specially-trained pediatric subspecialists so that patients can reach their fullest and healthiest potential.
You can help build a world class neuroscience center at Dell Children's with a gift to purchase cutting edge technology like the intraoperative MIR (iMRI). One of the most recent breakthroughs in surgical technology, the iMRI will greatly improve the outcomes of brain tumors, birth defects and spinal surgery. For more information on giving opportunities to the Pediatric Neurosurgery Program, contact the Foundation at (512) 324-0170.
For more information about the Pediatric Neurosurgery Program, contact the Pediatric Neurosurgery Center of Central Texas at (512) 324-0907.