Hope Lives and Kids Thrive at Southcoast Health Pediatric Rehabilitation

When Greyson Ferreira was born four months prematurely, he weighed just one pound, nine ounces.

He had cerebral palsy, heart and lung problems, hypoglycemia, epilepsy and about 20 other diagnoses stemming from the brain injuries that resulted from being born at only 24 weeks. 

The doctors told his mother he had a 15 percent chance of survival. Greyson did much more than survive.

Now six years old, he is the embodiment of hope and determination, thanks to his unbending spirit, his family’s resilience — and the team of talented Southcoast Health Pediatric Rehabilitation therapists he works with. He has received therapy three to four times per week since he was eight months old, shortly after his release from the newborn intensive care unit at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence.

“The team of therapists he works with is unbelievable, so caring and so professional,” said his mother, Sandra Willis of Westport. “You can’t believe the progress he has made.”

Greyson is now receiving treatment at the new Southcoast Health Pediatric Rehabilitation facility at 4543 Acushnet Avenue, in the far north end of New Bedford. Upon learning in the fall of 2023 that the Pediatric Rehabilitation program would need to vacate its previous location, Southcoast Health acted immediately to ensure families would not have their care interrupted.

“As a not-for-profit community health system, serving the patients and families in our community is the very core of Southcoast Health’s mission,” said President & CEO David O. McCready. “That’s why we didn’t blink when it came to finding a new home for this critical program. We already provided the only specialized pediatric rehabilitation center in the South Coast region, and now in our new facility we can offer children and young adults even more resources for physical, occupational and speech therapy.”

The new $4 million, 5,500-square foot center, which opened on March 25, serves Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island patients from newborns up to 22 years old. It has 11 exam rooms for 34 therapists, allowing for up to 80 children per day to receive physical and occupational therapy, as well as speech and language therapy. The center will receive an estimated 31,000 patient visits each year.

For Greyson, the comprehensive services he receives have enabled him to dream of a life filled with promise. On a recent therapy day, he worked with a Southcoast physical therapist to stand with a little support, to push himself around the hallways, driving himself to work harder and move faster.

“I’m trying, I’m trying, I’m trying,” he chirped as he worked.

Confident, friendly and animated, Greyson is recovering from a recent surgery on his spine, which took place just before Christmas. He uses a wheelchair, but his mother and his therapy team believe he will walk someday

“Most kids take a break. He never gives up. He’s always on an upward trajectory,” said physical therapist Melissa Maguire.

Greyson attends kindergarten in West Providence. He enjoys swimming, delving into computer code and dreams someday of being a pilot. At home, he helps his mother bake and do the dishes, and he helps care for his younger brother, a toddler.

“I just want him to be able to do anything he wants in the world. He’s the most determined kid. He never gives up,” said Sandra.

And thanks to the dedicated team of Southcoast Health Pediatric Rehabilitation therapists, the sky is the limit for Greyson Ferreira and for so many children under their expert care.

To learn more about Southcoast Health Pediatric Rehabilitation, visit Pediatric Rehabilitation | Southcoast Health.