Nick’s Story

What started out as an ordinary school day ended as a day that changed Nick Prefontaine’s life forever. He left early for school, forgetting the helmet he always wore when snowboarding. Losing control of his snowboard is the last thing Nick remembers about that day.

Although he was initially in a coma, Nick’s condition gradually improved. After a month at UMass Medical Center, he was transferred to Franciscan Hospital for Children, where he learned to swallow, walk, talk, and read again. Nick first communicated by blinking, then by thumbs-up signals, then by drawing, and finally by speaking.

As an inpatient for two months at the hospital and then in outpatient therapy six days a week, he was determined to improve as quickly as possible to return home to his family, friends, and his education. Doctors say his recovery is nothing short of miraculous and Nick is grateful for it all.

In spite of his continuing months of therapy and recovery, Nick graduated eighth grade with his classmates and entered Saint John’s High School with his friends. As an acknowledgement and tribute to Nick’s courage and commitment, Franciscan Hospital for Children presented him with the prestigious Profile in Courage Award.

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