Conrad's Story

Read Conrad's Story

After nearly drowning at 17 months of age, Conrad and his family have proven that perseverance, hope and love can drastically change the outlook and outcome of one's life.

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When you make a gift to the Conrad Smiles Fund you enable the critical research needed to understand and improve the treatment of anoxic brain injury.

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Research Updates

Conrad Smiles supported the first research project to assess anoxic brain injury in pediatric non-fatal drowning cases. The study is lead by Dr. Peter Fox, founder and head of the University of Texas Health Science Center’s Research Imaging Institute in San Antonio. The study utilized a special type of MRI called resting state functional MRI. Dr. Fox and team analyzed the brain activity and patterns of connections to understand how these children’s brains are “working” compared to a child without injury.

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28 June 2012

Conrad goes to camp CAMP! Conrad spent 5 nights away from home at Summer “camp CAMP” this month!  CAMP stands for Children Association for Maximum Potential, an organization with the mission to strengthen and inspire individuals with special needs.  Anyone that has followed Conrad’s journey knows that those words fit exactly with our key ope [...]

22 February 2012

 Meet Arnie!  Arnegger (Arnie) is a seven year old American Warmblood Pony and is one of the horses in Conrad’s weekly therapy led by Nikki Salzillo, Kathy Rubbo and Diana (Di) Hellgren. Since a horse’s gait mimics how we walk, the team is working to “wake up” those muscles in Conrad while improving muscle strength and his range of motion.  R [...]

3 January 2012

Happy New Year! Today marks the 8th anniversary of Conrad’s accident. We celebrate life and we reflect on the gains Conrad continues to make on his road to recovery.  In 2011, Conrad started an assisted walking program using a stander and treadmill.   He added speech therapy to his weekly routine to help him develop more consistent communicat [...]

11 November 2011

Anyone who has spent any time around Conrad knows he is aware of his environment and communicates. He answers yes/no questions with body and head movement. He follows simple commands in English and Spanish.  He has also increased his repertoire of sounds:  “Ehh that approximates yes;  “Guh” for good or in response to something younger brother [...]

24 July 2011

Happy Birthday Conrad! Conrad turned 9 years old today.  We mark his birthday with the release of his website  The site is still in development so please send us any feedback and/or suggestions as to the type of information you would like for us to include. Enjoy the day and please smile at least one time for Conrad.

14 April 2011

Conrad Walks! Conrad is back to his full therapy routine… with a twist. Utilizing a lift system, Conrad can walk with assistance on a treadmill and the ground. In addition to the stimulation and sensory input, the method increases circulation and provides the movement necessary to maintain the hip correction, post surgery. Please watch the vi [...]