Former NDSU Football Player Making Strides in Recovery - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Former NDSU Football Player Making Strides in Recovery

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MANKATO, Minn. (KARE-11) - The former NDSU football player who was knocked unconscious outside of a Mankato bar in May is taking some major steps in his road to recovery.

Isaac Kolstad's CaringBridge site says he is starting to have regular meals, rather than relying on a feeding tube all the time.

Kolstad is also walking for up to 45 minutes at a time with minimal assistance, according to the site.

Still, Kolstad also spoke for the first time on Tuesday night. Family said he repeated up to 10 words in speech.

He is still having trouble answering some simple questions.

CaringBridge Site Entries:

July 29, 2014

Isaac completed his first round of VitalStim and within fifteen mins he spoke!!! He repeated up to 10 words in speech and when I saw him today, he said my name! Couldn't be happier today :) He also said Haidyn, Malia, mom, and dad. We are ao grateful for your prayers, they are so incredibly helpful. Love to you all #22strong

July 28, 2014

Today marks 1 week at the Transitional Rehab Center for Isaac, but it already feels like two weeks with the amount of progress Isaac has made already! Isaac walks and walks and walks with minimal assistance from his physical therapist in PT. He usually walks for 45 minutes then completes balance exercises and leg exercises such as leg presses and side steps. He is getting closer and closer to walking on his own, his balance just isn't there yet. Isaac does well with transfers and standing that he is at the point that I can help him move from one place to another on my own. It's a good feeling that we are able to help him out in some way without the assistance of three other nurses!

Isaac had his first real meal with his Speech Therapist. The cafeteria just so happened to be serving his favorite- Alfredo! He did very well with eating and drinking and she anticipates that with a good video swallow evaluation and continued progress he could start having meals regularly within the next week. Isaac is still not able to talk but at times makes noises and mouths words. So he is trying very hard. Our physician informed us that speech comes last and can be the most frustrating skill to return. Isaac is seeing speech twice daily and trying VitalStim and acupuncture to help restore his speech

In occupational therapy Isaac is throwing footballs and tennis balls with both his left AND right arm. Just last month the right arm had no movement, now he can throw a ball and flex both his biceps at the same time. He can also independently move around in his wheelchair using his feet and legs to move himself around.

The other day Isaac was playing hide and seek with Haidyn then insisted on strolling the halls to show off his baby girls to the staff. What a proud dad moment! Isaac is more alert and engaged than ever. He appears to understand what is going on around him. However, his cognitive skills have an incredibly long journey ahead as far as recovery. Isaac does not recognize numbers, letters, or even colors. Following directions is difficult and he is easily distracted. When asked simple questions, he is maybe correct a third of the time. For example we asked Is your name Isaac?- yes, Are you a boy?- no, Is Molly a boy?- yes. But this is what we are at rehab for. The intensive daily therapy and working with individuals who are familiar with and specialize in traumatic brain injuries are what we are hopeful in in helping Isaac restore what has been injured. We still have no way of knowing what and how much of brain function will return for Isaac, only time will tell. Our physician mentioned he will never stop healing from his brain injury, it is a life long rehabilitation, but the most noticeable changes will occur within the first two years after injury. The long marathon still lies ahead but we have hit the ground running.

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