Gratitude Stories – Nolan

Hasbro Children’s Is There for Families When the Unthinkable Happens

Gratitude Stories - Nolan

Life can change in an instant. The Rodrigues family experienced that first-hand last year on their way home from Edaville Family Theme Park the day after Thanksgiving.

The family of four—3-year-old Nolan, his older brother, and his parents—were in a multi-vehicle car accident on the highway. Despite being in his car seat, Nolan sustained serious injuries, including severe head trauma and a laceration on his forehead.

The toddler’s grandparents, Patti and Michael, were following in a separate car and saw the whole shocking incident unfold before their eyes.

Nolan was immediately brought by ambulance from the scene of the accident in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, to Hasbro Children’s Hospital—the only Level 1 Pediatric Trauma Center in Southeastern New England.

As soon as he arrived at the hospital, Nolan received expert medical care from a team of doctors, nurses and surgeons and was quickly brought to the operating room for surgery to address his head injury.

In the days after the accident, he had trouble speaking and following commands.

“We were terrified, not knowing what the long-term effects were going to be,” said his grandfather, Michael. “We just wanted to know we were going to get our silly and happy Nolan back.”

Nolan spent several weeks at the hospital, initially in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, where he was closely monitored for complications, including stroke. Slowly but steadily, his condition improved.

Following the surgery, the most important aspect of Nolan’s healing was simple: rest.

After three weeks at Hasbro Children’s, his family was relieved to learn that Nolan was stable enough to transfer to a rehabilitation hospital. Even better, he was able to go home from there on December 23 — just in time to celebrate Christmas with his family.

His full recovery has taken time, and he continues to receive outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy at Hasbro Children’s, but today Nolan is doing great and back to his usual happy dinosaur and fish-loving self.

“The doctors and the nurses were so amazing, not only in caring for Nolan but also in letting us know what was going on,” Michael says. “And the therapists in rehab were equally amazing. We will be forever grateful.”  Nolan’s parents echo those feelings.

To show their gratitude for all the care and compassion they received, the family recently thanked friends and family for their support and collected donations for Hasbro Children’s Hospital as a token of their appreciation.

“I’ll do anything I can to help Hasbro Children’s Hospital. They gave me my son back!” says Nolan’s father, Ian.

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