Twelve-year-old Terry Hammond, a sixth-grader at West Plains Middle School, will be this year's recipient of funds raised during the 2006 Docs vs. Jocks physical therapy basketball challenge, sponsored by Ozarks Medical Center Rehabilitation Services and the West Plains Civic Center.
The annual basketball game between area doctors and therapists from OMC Rehabilitation Services will take center court at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26 at the West Plains Civic Center.
Admission to the game is a free-will donation. The game, with a Hawaiian theme this year, is held in conjunction with National Physical Therapy Month.
Terry, the son of Rod Hammond and Rick and Becky Rutledge, and the grandson of Treva Hammond and Mr. and Mrs. Reathel Marsh, all of West Plains, recently had surgery to enable him to walk better. The surgery was successful, but now Terry faces lengthy, intense physical therapy.
Terry was born in July 1994, 13 weeks before his due date. He weighed 1 pound, 15 ounces and was only 14 inches long.
Shortly after birth, he developed a cranial bleed that resulted in hydrocephalus, a condition in which his body was unable to reabsorb its spinal fluid. That called for a shunt placement. A feeding tube also was inserted, and he continues with that today. Once released from the hospital, he required nursing care 12 hours a day. About that time, he was diagnosed with a mild form of cerebral palsy.
When he was 1, Terry was introduced to Ozarks Medical Center where he began therapy at OMC Rehabilitation Services.
"He's a great kid," said Scott Vance, OMC Rehabilitation Services manager, who was Terry's therapist for many years. "Some think he's shy, but when he's used to you and opens up, he will just crack up laughing. He just laughs and laughs."
"If it weren't for Scott," said Terry's dad, Rod, "I don't know where we'd be. I really appreciate all of Terry's therapists. They do such a great job motivating him. And it's not just the therapists; everyone at OMC Rehab is just great."
Emily Marshall is Terry's current therapist.
"He's fun; he has a great sense of humor," said Marshall. "Since his surgery, he's really getting around better."
Terry recently had a surgery in St. Louis for selective dorsal rhizotomy, the surgical resection of the dorsal root of a spinal nerve, to reduce muscle spasticity associated with cerebral palsy.
"Now that the spasticity in his legs is diminished, the focus is on helping Terry build muscle strength," said Mrs. Rutledge. "The muscle strength will, in turn, improve his gait and mobility."
He receives therapy twice a week at school and twice a week at OMC Rehabilitation Services. "Terry is a great kid with a great attitude about his disability," she continued. "I've never heard him complain because he couldn't do some of the things the other kids could do. He seems to just take it in stride."
Proceeds from the game will be used to assist in his treatment. Terry was chosen by members of the OMC Rehabilitation Services Pediatric Task Force, based upon financial needs associated with his rehabilitation needs.
For the past 13 years, in conjunction with National Physical Therapy Month, the Docs vs. Jocks game has drawn hundreds from the area. Robert "Boss" Martin, MD, once again will coach the successful Docs team, and OMC Rehabilitation Services Physical Therapist Theresa Speake will coach the Jocks team.
The Docs have won the past three years. The Jocks, who won seven times in the first nine years, are looking for a comeback, said Speake.
This year, Docs team members again will compete for the annual MVP (most valuable physician) award. The physician who collects the most donations for Terry at his or her office is awarded the coveted title.
For additional information regarding Docs vs. Jocks or to make a donation, call the OMC Public Relations Department at 417-257-6735. For information regarding physical, occupational and speech therapies offered at OMC Rehabilitation Services, call 417-257-5959 or toll-free at 800-292-9329.