Meet Khalil: 2017 Speak Now for Kids Family Advocacy Day Hero

In 2013, Khalil — a strong and independent 18-year-old — was returning from college with one of his friends when the driver fell asleep at the wheel and lost control of the vehicle. The car flipped 15 times. Miraculously, Khalil survived the accident, but he incurred a traumatic brain injury. When Khalil arrived at Children’s Specialized Hospital, he could not walk, talk, eat or sit up. The doctors found that Khalil also had a hematoma on the right side of his brain, a temporal skull fracture and fractured ribs.

“When I learned of Khalil’s accident, I was on my way to work. I was blown away by the news and my family was in shock,” said Khalil’s mother, Shanette.

rsz_childrens_specialized_hospital_pereira_khalil_v2.jpgEveryone knew that Khalil would have a long road to recovery ahead of him. During his six-month inpatient stay at Children’s Specialized, Khalil received phenomenal medical and nursing care and intense physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy. His family received hope and reassurance during a critical time of shock and uncertainty. After treatment, Khalil was able to talk, walk, and do all his daily activities on his own.

Shanette explains that “without Medicaid, I would not have been able to pay for his medical treatments.  At the time of his injury, I was a single mom of three boys working only part-time.”

Despite some persisting cognitive issues, Khalil is now employed and works part-time as a store clerk. His mother provides incredible support and guidance and always tries to give Khalil as much freedom as possible. Khalil loves to exercise and spend time at the gym, and he especially enjoys shopping and going out to eat. Khalil calls his therapists “the dream team” because without them, none of this would have been possible.

Help us welcome Khalil to Washington, D.C.

Showing 7 reactions

commented 2017-07-01 21:59:59 -0400 · Flag

My dancing buddy and dear friend – I know you will go to D.C. with your full heart and talk about the amazing journey of recovery you have had. From the prayers we all said the night of your accident to the man they will see in front of them – you have demonstrated more courage and persistent then anyone could have ever imagined. Know we will be with you as you advocate for yourself and others who have also walked this journey. I wish I was with you but know my heart I still always with you.
Amy Mansue
commented 2017-06-28 10:00:58 -0400 · Flag
Hi Khalil,
From my family to you and yours, thank you for making this trip Washington DC to advocate for so many. I appreciate of YOUR voice supporting the need for Medicaid and insurance for children who desperately need specialized healthcare and supports in their daily lives. I admire your strength and advocacy and thank you for being our voice! Let it be heard.
commented 2017-06-21 13:49:53 -0400 · Flag
You are truly an inspiration! Thank you so much for sharing your story and traveling to Washington, D.C. to help others! I’m looking forward to spending time with you and your family on the trip.
My best,
commented 2017-06-21 11:26:08 -0400 · Flag
Hi Khalil,
It is so wonderful that you are attending Speak Now For Kids in Washington, D.C.!! Sharing your impactful story to help others is admirable and everyone is so proud of you. Your charisma will shine through and win the hearts of everyone you meet. I wish you and your family all the best on your trip to Washington! Have a wonderful time and enjoy every minute.
Linda Waddell
commented 2017-06-19 17:40:07 -0400 · Flag
Hi Khalil,
I’m so excited that you and your family are going to be going to Washington to meet our legislators! I can’t think of a better advocate Khalil! Your positive attitude, and your generosity in sharing your story will have such a meaningful impact in Washington. Plus you have the best family! Your Mom, Keith, and your brothers with be right there with you supporting you all the way like always!! Wishing you a wonderful trip, remember to have some fun too!
commented 2017-06-18 06:49:23 -0400 · Flag
Yes God answered our prayers and healed Khalil. He is such inspiration to our family. I am so proud of you cousin.
commented 2017-06-16 11:47:26 -0400 · Flag
Hi Khalil,
Thank you so much for taking the time to travel to Washington to advocate for our hospital. You are an inspiration to all of us!! We are so very proud of you and we know that you are going to do an awesome job!! Looking forward to our trip together!