Tourian then and now

Where Are They Now? Tourian Aldridge 

In November 2014, 13-year old Tourian Aldridge was riding his bike when a car struck him. He was rushed to Johns Hopkins, where he spent two weeks before coming to MWPH. For the first month at MWPH, Tourian was in a coma. He had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and needed extensive rehabilitation.

Once he came out of the coma, he had to learn everything, from walking to eating, again. He had daily physical, speech, and occupational therapy. The process, he said, was stressful. “MWPH gave me the right steps, but the team there can only do so much. It was up to me to use those steps to move myself forward,” Tourian said.

Tourian spent his 14th birthday at the hospital, and he remembers the lengths the child life team and the nursing staff went to so he could celebrate. “They had a little party for me,” he recalled. “I got to spend some extra time with the facility dog, and they set up a little putting green outside, so I could do a little golfing. It was nice.”

Tourian spent more than six months at MWPH before being discharged home in June 2015. He continued to come to the hospital for outpatient therapy. He also participated in the cognitive support group, which brings together young people who have suffered TBI or have other life-altering disabilities. In that group, Tourian said, “We’d talk about what’s going on in our lives and how we can influence others to fight through the pain.”

Now 21 years old, Tourian is in his first year of medical school. He hopes to specialize in oncology. He also runs an online mental health group, offering resources to help others share their stories of healing. (You can find him on YouTube at oops I lost my limb and on Instagram at olimbz).

“Most people who have not been in my shoes may think I am different. The truth is, I’m just like they are, but the road I took, my path, is different from theirs,” Tourian said. “My mantra is the footstep model: your past footsteps won’t make an impact unless you continue to step forward.” ♥