Story of Healing

Yahya Muthana

Acadia Parish

CHNOLA-64-Stories-Patient-Heart-Pics-Web-21-15596-1

"When I first met Yahya he could not eat anything safely by mouth. Now he is able to tolerate some textures and consistencies safely."

In the winter of 2019, nine-year-old Yahya Muthana was riding his bike around his hometown of Crowley, in Acadia Parish, with friends when he got in a terrible accident. He was immediately transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge where he stayed for 22 days, then was transported to Children’s Hospital New Orleans for three months.

“Yahya sustained a severe traumatic brain injury with resultant spastic quadriplegia, dysphagia s/p G-tube placement, and mixed receptive-expressive aphasia. When I first met Yahya he was in a minimally conscious state. He would not respond to any commands consistently,” explained physiatrist, Dr. Scott Schultz.

“It was really hard to see him like that,” remembers his sister, Emteaz. “He was very slow in making any progress, but the team at Children’s Hospital worked with him really hard, and he’s made a lot of progress.”

“With time, therapy, and medications, Yahya has had a significant improvement in his receptive language skills. Verbal expression still remains difficult but it is clear that he understands what is being said to him, as he quickly responds with a smile or a frown. When I first met Yahya he could not eat anything safely by mouth. Now he is able to tolerate some textures and consistencies safely,” said Dr. Schultz.

Resilient and full of determination, Yahya’s family admires his constant will to improve. They reflect on Yahya before the accident and share in his love for his community and in schoolwork.

“Before Yahya’s accident, he loved to play with his friends outside, and he liked to play video games. He’s really smart and really good at math,” said Emteaz.

Thanks to Yahya’s incredible care team at Children’s Hospital, including his physical therapy care, he’s been able to hit milestones in recovery that didn’t seem possible.

“I am so grateful for having the opportunity to be a part of Yahya’s recovery; his journey is not yet over, and I am so proud of how much he has accomplished since his injury,” shares Dr. Schultz. “A huge part of that comes from his devoted and attentive family; family support is so crucial for children with severe head trauma, and the immense support he receives from his sister and father will serve him well in the future.”

To learn more about Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Children’s Hospital, click here.