St. Joseph 6-Year-Old with Brain Injury Faces a New Challenge

Updated: 11/03/2013 6:06 PM By: Naomi Pescovitz

About 100,000 Minnesotans are living with a disability caused by a brain injury. One of them is 6-year-old Andre Robinson from St. Joseph.

Andre's life almost ended 19 days after it began.

"They didn't think that he would make it through the night," said Andre's mother, Kim Notsch.

Six years ago, Andre's dad was walking down the stairs and slipped. "Andre flew out of his arms," Notsch said.

He fell 13 feet to the ground. The fall left Andre with two fractures in his tiny skull, severe bleeding and swelling. Six years later his left arm and leg are weak, but his injury hasn't stopped him.

"I don't know how he's made it through it, I'm impressed every day. It's a miracle he's still here," Notsch said.

Andre and his mom have spent most of his six years counting the achievements of a little athlete and student.

"I honestly couldn't be happier for him because he's come so far," Notsch said.

But lately, they have been counting the two to three seizures he has had every day.

"In September he was put into a helmet to protect his brain and his head because the doctors are worried that he's going to hit hard, and it could be the end. Which is scary," Notsch said.

To fix the problem, Andre is facing more meds or more surgery.

"Because he was so young, the doctors had no idea which way his brain was going to go. The brain, it can heal completely, and he wouldn't have any problems. It could not heal at all and he would have all the problems in the world and so every day is a different day," Notsch said.

Even though Andre's brain is unpredictable, his heart is not.

"I wake up and we're at the low point. Are we going to be here forever? We don't know. I'm told no, so I keep crossing my fingers and hoping that we'll go back up someday. Someday soon would be really nice," Notsch said.

Andre should find out if he will need surgery next week.

There is a benefit for him this Sunday, Nov. 3 in St. Cloud to help with any new medical costs and special programs. It runs from 3 to 7 p.m. at Ducks Sports Bar and Grill at 3606 West Division Street, St Cloud. Click here for more information.

Falls are the leading cause of brain injury in Minnesota. Traumatic brain injury is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the U.S.

There is a Consumer and Family Conference on Nov. 9 in Roseville. The free conference is an opportunity for people with brain injuries and their loved ones to participate in workshops and sessions that focus on brain injury care, therapy and rehabilitation. To register call 612-378-2742 or 1-800-669-6442 by Friday, Nov. 1.

For more information or resources on brain injuries, visit the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance.