The magical resurrection of Trent Rivas:
When he was born, he suffered a stroke. A lifesaving medical procedure caused a second stroke, leaving him with damage to about 85 percent of the right hemisphere of his brain.Read the article: The power of magic.When Trent Rivas is not performing illusions, he stares blankly and struggles to communicate. But learning magic has opened a door to an undamaged part of his brain — and to a whole new world, Chicago Tribune>>
Doctors said Trent would live, but the future looked bleak: His ability to think abstractly was gone; the part of the brain that processes emotions was damaged; cerebral palsy would inhibit use of the left side of his body.
The only way he could learn was through experiencing things, and repetition. He received physical and occupational therapy and went through the special-education system, his mother fighting every step to give him the best shot at a good life. She exposed him to as much as she could: music, movies and, around age 12, a magic show.
Two years later, they saw another magician, and Cathy Rivas noticed how the show held her son's attention. She bought him an instructional video that sat unwatched for a couple of years. Then one day she found him in the basement room where he spent most of his time, watching the video over and over, working out a trick one step at a time...
Video, Chicago Tribune>>