Video games helping patients recover from burn injuries - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Video games helping Vanderbilt patients recover from burn injuries

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

You can see the determination on Gavin Chitwood's face. The 8-year-old is focused on beating his personal best.

When Gavin first picked up the controller, the Nintendo Wii was a much-needed escape from a difficult reality.

Last month, he was near a campfire when he was burned on his legs and torso. He had third-degree burns and needed surgery, along with several skin grafts.

Now, he's in physical therapy at the Vanderbilt Burn Center, which can be a tough process for someone so young.

"With adults, you can reason with them. You can tell them, this is what you need to do to get back to moving. If you want to up and get back to your life, this is what you need to do. With kids, they don't really understand that. It's more, this hurts, and I'm not going to do it," said Gavin's physical therapist, Trae Williams.

When conventional exercises didn't work, his physical therapist at Vanderbilt decided to give the Nintendo a try, and that's when Gavin's recovery took off.

"When we first started out, Gavin wasn't able to stand. He has this arm burn, so we picked games that would make him use his hand. As he healed up and was able to stand, we progressed to things like the bowling and more things where he could weight bear through both legs," Williams said.

It can be easy for Gavin to forget that all this screen time is helping him make progress.

"It's really fun. I don't think it seems like therapy," he said.

Gavin's achieving a new personal best each day, which goes far beyond a winning score.

Doctors have been using the Wii in their therapy program since February. It was donated by the Chattanooga Firefighters Association.

Copyright 2014 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Local News on KCBD.comNewsMore>>

  • Amazon raising price of annual Prime membership to $119

    Amazon raising price of annual Prime membership to $119

    Thursday, April 26 2018 5:59 PM EDT2018-04-26 21:59:01 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:11 PM EDT2018-04-26 23:11:54 GMT
    Amazon has ventured into other business areas including, shipping and medical care, and now banking. (Source: AMAZON/CNN)Amazon has ventured into other business areas including, shipping and medical care, and now banking. (Source: AMAZON/CNN)

    Amazon says it will hike up the price of its Prime membership fee by 20 percent next month.

    Amazon says it will hike up the price of its Prime membership fee by 20 percent next month.

  • Trump's Cohen comments raise questions about relationship

    Trump's Cohen comments raise questions about relationship

    Thursday, April 26 2018 9:18 AM EDT2018-04-26 13:18:48 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:10 PM EDT2018-04-26 23:10:57 GMT
    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him 'with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal' and that 'from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong.' (Source: CNN)President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him 'with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal' and that 'from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong.' (Source: CNN)

    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him "with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal" and that "from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong."

    President Donald Trump says his personal attorney Michael Cohen represents him "with this crazy Stormy Daniels deal" and that "from what I see he did absolutely nothing wrong."

  • Suspect in serial killings was obsessed with lawn care

    Suspect in serial killings was obsessed with lawn care

    Thursday, April 26 2018 2:39 AM EDT2018-04-26 06:39:08 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 7:09 PM EDT2018-04-26 23:09:25 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

Powered by Frankly