DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Toni Hill is a nurse and a mother of two. In addition to school and daycare, some days with Journie and Genesis are busier than others – filled with appointments, therapy sessions, and specialists.
During Toni’s pregnancy with Journie, she learned she was missing a part of her brain, a condition known as Agenesis of Corpus Callosum.
“We also found out that she had microcephaly, which is small brain syndrome. So throughout her life, we’ve been finding different diagnoses with her,” says Toni.
Journie is nonverbal and relies on a wheelchair.
With Toni pursuing her nursing degree and working to meet Journie’s special needs, she found United Rehabilitation Services (URS).
“It was pretty exciting, because for us to find a place that has a nurse on staff, and then a lot of the actual Dayton daycare teachers or the school teachers here are very consistent,” says Toni. “She’s learned how to eat, how to pick up food, with occupational therapy. Then she’s also learned how to use her Mustang, where she’s able to navigate throughout the room with her equipment.”
While Journie receives the care she needs, URS allows families with multiple children to keep them all under one roof.
“Children like Genesis, which is your typical child, she has an understanding that there are other children with disabilities. Even within her class, she sees children with disabilities, and Genesis will take ahold of them and help them along the way.”
Toni admits there are struggles, but she works to surround herself with positive people, and says she finds that at URS.
“Just having the support of being able to talk to people here when I need a break or to debrief, tell them about my day, it makes a difference, too,” she says.
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – United Rehabilitation Services has the buzz of a small city, whether inside the classrooms or the work rooms.
In 1954, Robin Johnson’s family joined other parent-advocates in laying the foundation for what is now URS more than 60 years ago.
Since the start, it has been giving individuals with disabilities a place to learn, grow, and socialize throughout their lifetimes.
“It’s treating these individuals just like anybody else and creating opportunities for them to have meaningful experiences in their lives,” says Dennis Grant, Executive Director for URS.
The adult services here also teach practical skills: clients use physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
Many use what they learn to volunteer and work in the community.
“We’re contributing to our work force by allowing those individuals to lead productive lives, to have some normalcy and a daily routine,” says Grant.
It provides a bit of normalcy for caregivers, too, providing support for families and helping to erase the stress of round-the-clock care.
For many clients, it’s a home away from home.
DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – 4-year-old Jeffrey Sells has already overcome numerous challenges in his short life and now, thanks to intensive therapy at United Rehabilitation Services, he’s exceeding expectations.
Jeffrey faced an uphill battle from the beginning, when he was born at 23 weeks gestation with brain damage, heart complications, cerebral palsy and developmental delays.
“He had many surgeries, he had died several times and had to be brought back. He was 8.2 pounds at 6 months old when we got to bring him home,” said Jonna Sells, Jeffrey’s mother.
Jeffrey is one of more than 75 children Jonna Sells and her husband have fostered during their three decades of marriage. When the couple finalized Jeffrey’s adoption in February 2018, he joined the Sells’ five other adopted and biological children.
At age 2, Jeffrey began physical, speech and occupational therapy services at URS to help improve his mobility, communication and fine motor skills. Since then, his family has watched him achieve new milestones.
“He’s a miracle. He’s a gift. He’s got a future and he’s got a plan and he doesn’t even know it yet,” Jonna Sells said.
She added it’s emotional watching him accomplish new tasks, acquire new skills and get closer to walking, and credited URS with helping him along in his journey.
“The services here, you can’t beat them,” Sells said. “You can’t buy them anywhere else. You can’t find people like United Rehab anywhere else. You can’t.
The URS Therapy Center provides licensed physical and occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists, specializing in everything between skill achievement to complex diagnoses. The team collaborates with each other, families and school-based services to create plans for each individual.
You can learn more about URS therapy services here.
To support programs like this, 2 NEWS is hosting our 40th annual URS Telethon on Sunday, December 2nd from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on WDTN.
Last year, the event raised more than $115,000.