First Coast News reports that Shannon Smowton is finally going home after three weeks of physical therapy at the Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital. It has been a long road for the Smowton family, and Shannon’s Dad is looking forward to the simple things, once they arrive at their Winter Park home Wednesday afternoon.
Shannon was diagnosed with an E. coli infection – the same as 30 other children in Central Florida who were infected by animals at petting zoos at three separate fairs. After being on dialysis, she was released to Brooks Rehab Hospital because her muscles had lost their strength.
Part of Shannon’s therapy was standing up, reaching into a plastic pail filled with bean-bags, then throwing them across the room. While it appeared to be fun and games, it was an exercise designed to strengthen Shannon’s legs, arms, balance and coordination.
When she was admitted, “She wasn’t walking. She wasn’t moving her legs very much and I know her left arm wasn’t moving,” said Brooks Physical Therapist Kristine Carter. But after three weeks of hard work, Shannon is now walking unassisted.