Story, photos and video by Nellie Doneva/Abilene Reporter-News
Crayton Raines talked, he walked, he rode a bike, climbed stairs, he built a tower.
For an hour and a half, the 4-year-old boy worked hard to improve his speech and body, with the help of three therapists at the West Texas Rehabilitation Center.
Through game after game, and also some pain, the boy never lost his smile.
“Crayton is so awesome, always smiling, so easygoing,” said his mother, Lacey Raines from Roscoe.
Hours after he was born, Crayton suffered a severe blockage of his left carotid artery, which led to a stroke, Lacey said.
Both of his legs, and his right arm are affected by cerebral palsy.
He has difficulty walking, stretching his arm, grasping things. His speech is not on level with his peers.
“We’re trying to get him to use larger sentences,” Kellie McAden, speech and language pathologist said. “We want him to be more descriptive, so he can let his parents know what he wants at home, and so he can interact with peers.”
At the Rehab, Crayton is strapped to a modified tricycle, which lets him pedal using both hands and feet. He rides laps around the corridors, smiling in acknowledgement at other pediatric patients and therapists.
“We work on getting him more independent and functional,” physical therapist Jac Foreman said.
In occupational therapy, Crayton tries to improve his coordination and the flexibility in his right arm. He has to reach for the building blocks for his tower. He uses his better left arm to bring his right up high.
Still, he needs a lot of help. His little brother Cole, 3, is often eager to offer assistance. He gets things for Crayton, pushes him in the tricycle, or just cheers him on.
“It’s hard,” the boys’ mother said. “The older Crayton gets, he’s heavier and larger, and just trying to carry him is not as easy.”
“We want to teach him to become as independent as possible.”