Injured Kuna football player moved to rehab hospital in Denver

Credit: Bailey Jo Bartlome

Injured Kuna football player moved to rehab hospital in Denver

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by Karen Zatkulak

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KTVB.COM

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 25 at 7:25 PM

BOISE -- The Kuna High School football player seriously injured in a game earlier this month is now recovering in a Denver rehab hospital.

On Monday, Boone Bartlome was transferred from Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise to Craig Hospital in Denver.

He was taken by air ambulance with his parents.

SIGNS OF IMPROVEMENT

Boone's family tells us he is continuing to improve.

He is moving his upper body more and more, and then on Sunday, he even moved his left foot.

"He said he could feel Boone's quad muscle kind of firing so he put his hand on the back side of Boone's left leg, and asked him to lift his heel off the bed and Boone could lift it 2 or 3 inches, so we all started crying," said Boone's sister Bailey Jo Bartlome.

Bailey Jo says her brother's attitude is staying positive.

"Compared to what we were thinking two weeks ago when he first got injured, our spirits have been completely lifted 100 percent," said Bailey Jo.

REHAB OPTIONS

Boone's sister tells us they had several rehab options, including some in Idaho, but chose Craig Hospital in Denver, since it was recommended as the best.

Here is a recent post by the family on CaringBridge.org explaining why they chose the facility in Denver:

"Boone has a very long road ahead of him. There is no way to accurately predict his ultimate prognosis. However, the doctors are very encouraged by his progress thus far. Now that Boone's condition has stabilized, our next step will be to move him to a facility that specializes in rehabilitating his type of injury. Craig Hospital, which is located in Denver, is world renowned for their ability to rehabilitate patients with spinal cord injuries. Ultimately, we feel this will give Boone the best possible chance for a full and complete recovery. He will begin his journey at Craig Hospital sometime next week. We are fortunate that we will be able to stay by his side while he begins his rehabilitation efforts."

Bailey Jo says she just wants the best chance for a full recovery for her brother.

"As his big sister I want him to have the best treatment possible and I think we made a pretty good decision as to where he's going," said Bailey Jo.

THE PUSH FOR PEDIATRIC REHAB IN IDAHO

Dr. Jacob Neufeld is the only pediatric rehab doctor in Idaho. He was brought here just six months ago to help create what our area lacks.

"Since I've been here we've sent three to four children out of state to get the specialized care that we don't have yet," said Dr. Neufeld.

Dr. Neufeld says they're hoping to expand St Luke's Children's Hospital and offer a pediatric rehab center for children with serious injuries like Boone's, so patients and families don't have to travel to get the specialized care they need.

"It's very, very hard on the families, so our goal is to try to provide that care for children here in Idaho, in Boise," said Dr. Neufeld.

BOONE'S FUTURE

Boone's sister tells us he is expected to be in the Denver hospital for at least eight weeks.

He will be doing intense therapy for 40 hours a week, working to regained his range of motion, then re-learn the movements he used to use every day.

Boone arrived at Craig Hospital Monday afternoon and is scheduled to start therapy as soon as possible.

Donations to Boone's family can be sent to:

PO Box 191132
Boise, ID 83719

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