“This wasn’t easy, but rehabilitation was my goal, and this was the best place for me.”

“Life was wonderful,” Colby Southern stated, recalling his life before his recent hospitalization. “I worked at a car dealership selling used cars and enjoyed spending time with my grandkids, which range from 13 years old to 5 years old.”

Colby’s life changed one September day when he experienced a sudden onset of left-sided weakness. A trip to the emergency room resulted in a diagnosis of a ruptured arteriovenous malformation, or AVM. An AVM occurs when blood vessels containing arteries and veins become tangled, causing issues with blood flow and oxygen circulation. For Colby, this resulted in profound deficits on the left side of his body.

Having lost the ability to care for himself and perform basic daily functions, Colby needed intensive therapy to regain his function and independence. His case manager at IU Health Methodist recommended a stay at Bloomington Regional Rehabilitation Hospital (BRRH). “He told me that this was the best place for me and that I needed to get as much therapy as possible.”

At BRRH, Colby made significant progress in his recovery. “There were a lot of things that influenced my recovery,” Colby noted. “First and foremost, my family and my desire to get back home to them and spend time with my grandkids. Also, though, the staff here at BRRH is like a small community. They talk to you, they push you when you need to be pushed, and help you set reasonable and achievable goals.”

“This wasn’t easy, but rehabilitation was my goal, and this was the best place for me. If getting better is not your goal, then this is definitely not the place for you,” Colby added.

Each day, Colby’s wife came to the hospital, attended his therapy sessions, and learned as much as she could. Having such a tremendous support group has helped Colby progress and will continue to help him upon his return home.

“There were a lot of special people here, and really everyone was nice from the top down. Everyone worked as a team to help me meet my goals,” Colby shared. “I would like to recognize Kandace (PT), Claire (OT), Darbi (ST), Sherri, Kayla, and Christy (nursing), and Melissa, Emma, and Carmelita (PCTs). They were all special to me and my journey.”

“Success can be defined a bunch of different ways, but I define success today as setting and reaching your goals. I don’t expect to be perfect, but I do want to be able to go home and take care of myself, be able to talk to people and enjoy life. I am looking forward to that. I haven’t been home in almost sixty days. I can’t wait to go home and just be with my family. I’m also ready to see my dog!”