Emily Nicole Graver
Grade and school: 7th grade, Marticville Middle School
Parents: Tim and Kerry Graver, Holtwood
What she watches and listens to: “Duck Dynasty,” “Sponge Bob,” “The Croods” and Taylor Swift
When she grows up she wants to: Be a veteranarian.
Emily started coming to Schreiber after surgery in December 2012 to remove part of her brain. “The left side of my brain,” she wrote in her paperwork. “To control my seizures.”
Doctors and therapists call this a hemispherectomy, and it was done to treat Rasmussen’s syndrome, an inflammation of the brain that causes uncontrollable seizures. With part of the left side of her brain gone, Emily had to regain the use of her right arm, hand and leg. She had to learn to walk and talk again.
And she’s doing it.
She can walk without a walker or a cane. She can go up and down stairs – “sometimes without holding onto the rail,” she wrote. She can speak more clearly.
Her parents, Tim and Kerry, describe her as outgoing, caring and kind. And, they said, she still gets excited about coming to therapy.
“Emily is a walking, talking miracle,” wrote Laurie Miller, her Schreiber physical therapist, in her nomination form. “After being told she would never would walk again, Emily decided she was going to prove everybody wrong. She is a very spunky, hard-working and persistent kiddo who has found a way to overcome every challenge. She loves to sing and perform and has a wonderful and inspirational zest for life. We have fun every week, and it has been a blessing to watch Emily progress from using a walker to doing ‘high knees’ in the pool. She demonstrates what we strive to do here at Schreiber every day – ‘turn disabilities into abilities.'”