31 October 2012

The research study has begun!

Since we first announced the pending research study in our January update, the number 1 question has been: “When will it start?”  We are so glad to now answer: “It Has!”

As a reminder, Dr. Peter Fox of the UT Health Science Center agreed to lead the FIRST research project to address brain injury in child near-drowning cases. Utilizing Resting State Functional Imaging, his team will analyze brain activity and patterns of connections to provide families information on the functional status of their child’s brain. The information will assist caregivers in management and treatment decisions and provide a more targeted approach to therapy.  For more information, please visit our Research page http://www.conradsmiles.com/research/

Conrad was scanned on October 21st.  Now the number 1 question is: “When will we get the results?”

Doctoral candidate Janessa Manning, who is managing the research study gives this answer: “Dr Fox took a variety of images of Conrad’s brain. We are playing with ways to analyze them to get the most useful information from the acquired data. However, until we know what a typically developing 10 year-old boy’s brain is doing, our ability to interpret the findings is pretty limited.”

This is because the research approach involves comparing brain images of near-drowning victims to those of typically developing children in gender and age matched “pairs”.

Sam, who you met in the last update, has agreed to be the age/gender match for Conrad. Thank you Sam. Sam’s scan is scheduled for mid November.

The study also requires multiple case analyses. We are targeting 9 gender/age matched “pairs” like Conrad and Sam. Currently we have one other signed up. The sooner we can recruit more near-drowning children to the study, the sooner the team will have sufficient data to form more solid conclusions. We are asking families of near-drowning children to contact Janessa at manningj@uthscsa.edu if they are interested in participating, so please spread the word.

Then we can move to the next step – research related to the treatment.

Thank you to all who have followed throughout our journey.  We still have along way to go but we have taken a huge step forward.  Please take a moment celebrate with us.

Steve Spriester, KSAT news, captured Conrad’s scan and interviewed Dr. Fox.  Here is the link to the story if you missed it:




  1. Suzanne Simpson's Gravatar Suzanne Simpson
    November 6, 2012    

    What great news! I love the pictures and I cannot wait to hear the rest of the story concerning the research. We love you guys! XOXO Suzanne and Brad

  2. Heather C. Diehl's Gravatar Heather C. Diehl
    November 5, 2012    

    Wonderful news! Thank you for letting us know.

  3. Sr.Germaine Corbin's Gravatar Sr.Germaine Corbin
    November 2, 2012    

    Thank God for this progress! We continue to beg God for healing and patience, too. You, Conrad, and your family, including your Sunday morning Mass family, pray for these researchers, too. Love and prayers, Sr.Germaine

  4. Brian Slaga's Gravatar Brian Slaga
    November 1, 2012    

    That is excellent!!

  5. Prem Ananda Sandy's Gravatar Prem Ananda Sandy
    November 1, 2012    

    Fantastic news! I will continue to pray for everyone that is involved in this research. I will pray for the other families to come and for all the possibilities to be discovered!

    Love and Light,

  6. Paula Plofchan's Gravatar Paula Plofchan
    November 1, 2012    

    What an exciting time, I will be looking forward to updates and of course results. Conrad is our UIW ANGEL.I will be looking forward to contiued updates. Paula

  7. Sister Stephana Marbach's Gravatar Sister Stephana Marbach
    November 1, 2012    

    Congratulations on another marvelous step in the direction of the continuous progress for Conrad and for all other children who may experience similar life challenges. Your dedication and your deep faith are truly an inspiration. My prayers continue.
    Blessings and peace,
    Sr. Stephana Marbach, IWBS

  8. Lois's Gravatar Lois
    November 1, 2012    

    This is so hopeful for Conrad, and for that I am so thrilled. I also see many ways this could help others whose children have endured brain injuries, regardless of type. For that I am grateful, Liz; your tenacity, intelligence, and courage will benefit so many. But first and foremost, I look forward to more and more of Conrad’s magic being “unveiled” for all of us. love…Lois

  9. Stan thomas's Gravatar Stan thomas
    November 1, 2012    

    Conrad, it is airways a pleasure to be around you during family get to get hers. I always have a special prayer for you and all of our family every night before I slip off to sleep. Please keep improving as I am looking forward to the day we can walk together. Blessings to you and all your family. Stan

  10. Michele O'Brien's Gravatar Michele O'Brien
    November 1, 2012    

    Congratulations on this next step done! May God bless each and all involved in this important program. All children will be grateful for your courage and quest of this important research. Blessings and prayers, Sr. Michele

  11. Isabel Mijangos's Gravatar Isabel Mijangos
    November 1, 2012    

    Great News! Your perseverance is an inspiration and will help so many. Congratulations on the next step. Thinking of you and family.

  12. Sister Sally Mitchell's Gravatar Sister Sally Mitchell
    November 1, 2012    

    Blessings to all of you as you continue your work, not only to help Conrad, but to be a source of study for other children. It is so great to see Conrad at Mass so often, knowing it is difficult transporting him. But when it is done for love, then it is a privilege. May the love of God be with you always.
    Sister Sally

  13. Naomi Nye's Gravatar Naomi Nye
    November 1, 2012    

    Bravo! May there be insights, and new possibilities arising from this study, and more ways discovered to help Conrad and others. You are all so generous!! The presence of hopeful movement forward you always embody is the greatest spirit in a family ever witnessed — we are all rooting for you and for Conrad — love, naomi

  14. Petrina's Gravatar Petrina
    November 1, 2012    

    I will pray for the doctors to be able to identify other children for this important research. You and your family are truly amazing.
    Praying for God’s blessings for Conrad,

  15. Aunt Joanie's Gravatar Aunt Joanie
    November 1, 2012    

    This is an incredible project!!! My prayers are with you Conrad and all involved in the project! Love you!

  16. Sandra Coulson's Gravatar Sandra Coulson
    November 1, 2012    

    Hi there, You have created a phenomenal beginning of what will be
    a tremendously important study. I applaud you for your efforts and
    your energy to get this going! I will share your information and,
    hopefully, we will get many involved. Thank you so much for staying
    in touch and ‘keeping me in the loop’! My prayers are with all of you!

  17. Sister Martha Ann Kirk's Gravatar Sister Martha Ann Kirk
    November 1, 2012    

    Conrad, you have amazing family and friends who love you so much. You have invited thier love, courage, and wisdom. The world will be better because of your life. I was so happy to be with you when you received your first Holy Communion. You walk with Christ and I am grateful to know all of you.
    Sister Martha Ann

  18. Larry Andrews's Gravatar Larry Andrews
    November 1, 2012    

    Congratulations on this great start. I continue to pray for Conrad and Mom and Dad. I will pray for the Researchers.

Leave a Comment