8-Year-Old Starts Lemonade Stand as Part of Therapy After Brain Surgery
He had a mass of cells on his brain.
When life gave one 8-year-old Kansas boy lemons, he made lemonade.
As part of Ulises Ornelas’ physical therapy after brain surgery, staff at the Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals-Lincoln Campus in Nebraska decided to help him make his very own lemonade stand and do rounds around the hospital.
Ulises Ornelas’ mom, Karina Ornelas, initially noticed something off about her son’s movements on his left side late last year and contacted a doctor.
“We noticed he walked differently and we thought one leg was shorter than the other,” Ornelas told InsideEdition.com.
In February, Ulises was diagnosed with hemangioma cavernoma.
The condition caused a cluster of abnormal brain cells to form on his brain and limited the 8-year-old’s movement.
Doctors said Ulises would have to have brain surgery to remove the mass. When he had the surgery in July, he came out with very little movement on his left side.
Ulises then began physical therapy at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital.
“When he got here, he wasn’t sitting up on his own,” said occupational therapist Liz Pohlen. “He’s been working super hard and he’s making really good progress.”
Ulises can now sit up and walk. His 6-year-old sister, Genesis, recently presented the idea of a lemonade stand, and Pohlen decided to incorporate the idea into his therapy.
“It was something he really wanted to do so he just did it one day during therapy,” Pohlen said. "I decided rather than sit, he can walk around the hospital so we can make it part of therapy, activity tolerance, motor recovery with his left hand. He was definitely super motivated.”
Pohlen said Ulises made the sign for the stand. He also helped get ice and took people’s orders when he opened up the stand on wheels last month.
“I went around and explored the hospital with my lemonade cart and collected all the money,” Ulises said.
Although the lemonade was free, people were asked to make donations, and Ulises was able to buy himself a remote control Ferrari from the $54 he made.
Pohlen said Ulises is definitely an entrepreneur and on Tuesday, when he opened up his stand again, he made another $30, which he donated to the pediatric hospital.
“I want more money,” Ulises said.
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