Colin Thompson

Monica Thompson never left her son’s side. Though hospitalized with an anoxic brain injury, Colin had a second chance at life. The brain injury left Colin with significant deficits and a long road to recovery, but there was hope. That hope led Colin and his mother to Vibra Hospital of Charleston, a critical care hospital.

Critical care hospitals, like Vibra, work with patients like Colin, who need extended hospitalization and have complex medical needs. When Colin arrived at Vibra, he was in an encephalopathic state and on a ventilator. Immediately, the interdisciplinary care team, including doctors, nurses, and therapists, got to work on getting Colin back to better.

Speech services worked with Colin on trach collar trials and working with a Passy-Muir speaking valve. As Colin presented with severe aphasia and apraxia of speech, communication evolved as he awoke and began some left-sided movement to incorporate hand signals: thumbs-up for ‘yes’ or index finger up for ‘no.’

Meanwhile, physical and occupational therapy services helped Colin make what all consider a miraculous physical recovery. When he arrived at Vibra, Colin couldn’t even adjust in bed. Yet, by his discharge from Vibra, Colin could ambulate over 150 feet with a rolling walker, feed himself, and use both upper extremities.

Similarly, respiratory and speech therapies drove exceptional improvements. Colin was decannulated, could speak at sentence-level communication, and had 100% overall speech intelligibility.

From the day of admission, case management worked with Monica on discharge planning. She wished to get Colin back to the Boston area for the next phase of his recovery, and the case management team made that happen.

“You all gave me my son back, and I will forever be grateful,” Monica said.

Following his return to Boston, Colin got to meet Parker McCollum.

Monica often played music for Colin, including his favorite song, “Hell of a Year,” by Parker McCollum. Vibra’s director of rehabilitation happened to know someone working with the artist, who helped coordinate a “get well” video from Parker to Colin. In the video message, Parker invited Colin to see a show once he had healed enough. Less than a month following his discharge, Colin met Parker at a concert in his hometown of Boston. Colin may have had one “Hell of a Year,” but he is well on his way to recovery!