Saving Noah, Restoring a Family
How One Young Participant and His Family Were Able to Get Their Lives Back on Track
In July of 2009, 13-year-old Noah Luster, a sweet, shy boy about to begin 8th grade, was riding his bike with a friend when he was struck by a car.
After a scary visit to the emergency room, Noah’s mother, Toni, recalls the relief she felt when doctors told her that Noah hadn’t broken any bones. “I was told he had a mild concussion and I figured that even though he hadn’t been wearing a helmet he would be fine in about a week,” said Toni. “But that wasn’t the case.”
Within days of his accident, Noah began to experience serious physical symptoms, including seizures, intense headaches, memory issues, sensitivity to light and trouble sleeping. According to Toni, her son’s sunny disposition seemed to change overnight.
“He was agitated all the time, negative and frustrated,” said Toni. “He lost all of his friends over the next several months and missed nearly an entire year of school.”
Unsure if Noah’s volatile behavior was due to the accident, a mental illness that had manifested itself, or teenage rebellion, he underwent numerous tests before finally being diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Toni was relieved to finally know the cause of her son’s behavior. Despite seeing several doctors and being put on a variety of medications, nothing seemed to help. Noah was acting out more and more, and he soon became a danger to himself, his mother and younger brother Brendan.
Nearly two years after Noah’s injury, there was still no progress, and desperate for help, Toni contacted a local program for troubled teens that told her about NeuroRestorative. Not long after, Noah entered NeuroRestorative Carbondale’s adolescent integration program. “It was our first glimmer of hope,” said Toni.
“It wasn’t easy,” said Toni. “Noah was defiant at first and maintained a negative attitude, but slowly and surely he began to come around, and I started to notice a huge difference. He no longer dreaded therapy and began to really open up.”
While at NeuroRestorative Carbondale, Noah learned how to manage his behavior and to deal with situations appropriately through neurobehavioral therapy. Noah learned how to recognize signs that he was getting frustrated, for example, and to ask to take a break before his behavior escalated into anger or an unwanted behavior. His rehabilitation also focused on increasing his level of independence through routines of personal hygiene and daily chores, and cognitive functioning, such as problem-solving skills and reading comprehension. In addition, by attending NeuroRestorative Carbondale’s adolescent integration school, Noah was able to maintain his grade level while progressing through his rehabilitation.
In April 2012, after nearly ten months of rehabilitation, armed with a discharge plan that he would continue to follow with Toni’s help, Noah returned home to his family and back to school.
“The sweet, easy-going Noah is back and almost better than before,” said Toni. “He is actually trying in school now and realizing that there is opportunity out there, and that life is pretty good. NeuroRestorative has been life-changing for us. It not only saved Noah, but it saved our whole family.”