“Irresistibly” cute is what many are saying about young Kellan. With his catchy slogan t-shirts and constant smirk, he doesn’t need any help stealing the show, yet his freshly painted helmet brings him some additional attention these days.
Kellan was born with a congenital heart defect that required considerable medical attention at early stages of his life. He was placed twice on ECMO, a technique that provides both cardiac and respiratory support, just weeks into his life. At three weeks old, he had open heart surgery at Mercy Children’s Hospital & Clinics to fix his defect.
Lying on his backside for extended periods of time after surgery created flatness on the back of Kellan’s head. He started in the cranial symmetry program at ChildServe in Johnston. After an evaluation, ChildServe‘s multidisciplinary team began the process of a corrective helmet, and he was referred to physical therapy to increase his shoulder strength.
“It was truly a miracle for Kellan to make it through intensive care at such a young age. Having artwork on the front of the helmet makes something that is not so pleasant for him better. The helmet is really fun for everyone.”
“Kellan needs the helmet to eliminate any pressure on the back of his head,” said Certified Orthotist Kim Darrah. “As his head circumference grows, it will grow into the empty space in the helmet and help improve his cranial symmetry.”
A “normal” helmet was not enough for Kellan. His mother, Alison, contacted a local illustrator to create a unique design. After research and thought, Alison chose the main color to be blue camouflage. Then unique sayings were added. “Major Hunk” on the front of the helmet, and the back, “Operation Round Noggin.”
“It was truly a miracle for Kellan to make it through intensive care at such a young age,” said Alison, Kellan’s mother. “Having artwork on the helmet helps make something that is not so pleasant for him better. The helmet is really fun for everyone.”
Kellan continues physical therapy to increase his shoulder strength and with the help of his special, one-of-a-kind helmet, this “Major Hunk” is on his way to a “round noggin.”
ChildServe improves the health and well-being of more than 4,500 children each year through specialized clinical, home, and community-based programs and services. We serve children with developmental delays, disabilities, acquired injuries, and other special healthcare needs.