Diagnosed with bacterial meningitis, a serious infection, Tresa lost her ability to speak and her mental status declined. While receiving treatment in a hospital for the infection, she fell and…

Back surgery in March 2021 left Mike Lavender without the use of his legs. After the surgery, Mike began physical therapy at a skilled nursing facility, but continued to experience pain. He began to lose hope…

Thirty-three-year-old Kody Kittlaus of Monrovia, Indiana, has always enjoyed riding motorcycles and cooking with his two young children and wife, Savannah. His life changed, however, after a motorcycle accident…

Barry Robinson is an active person who enjoys taking care of his home and dogs, riding his motorcycle, and fishing. Unfortunately, he suffered a heart attack…

Barry chose BRRH for his inpatient stroke rehabilitation.

Before admitting to Bloomington Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, Barry Sutherlin lived a “pretty normal life.” He lived with his wife, Sharon, and enjoyed mowing, playing with his dogs, and visiting with his family, especially his grandkids. During our interview, Barry recalled his last trip to visit his newest granddaughter in Vermont. He last saw her when she was just 4-6 months old. Then COVID hit, and it had been four years since Barry had seen her. However, before this incident, he recently had time to visit his granddaughter in Vermont, which brought him a lot of joy.

One morning, Barry woke up feeling weak. “I did not know what was going on. I just kept going about my day, and before long, my right leg was giving out.” Barry wound up falling and could not use his right leg to get up. “I knew the signs of a stroke but didn’t think that I was having a stroke.”

However, Barry’s weakness progressively worsened to the point he had another fall. “I couldn’t keep my legs underneath me. I didn’t have a headache or other symptoms, just weakness. It just kept getting worse throughout the day.” Barry’s wife, Sharon, took him to the ER after his second fall that day. “Once at the ER in Paoli, I was evaluated, and they decided to transfer me to IU Health Bloomington, where I saw a neurologist and an MRI.

The MRI confirmed that Barry did have a stroke.

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A battle with Guillain-Barre syndrome left Michael in need of intensive rehabilitation

Michael Perry recently retired as the director of operations for a transportation company. Michael enjoyed his newfound free time, spending time with his grandkids, playing basketball, golfing, and going to church.

One Monday morning, Michael experienced a sudden onset of leg soreness that caught him by surprise. “It was severe and wasn’t like any other soreness I had felt. And it wasn’t muscle.” Within a few hours, Michael couldn’t stand, and by mid-afternoon, he couldn’t move his legs. “By 4 pm, I was essentially paralyzed from the waist down. I was in bed and spent all day there.”

The next day, Michael’s dad came over and immediately called 911. Michael was transported to IU Health Bedford before being referred to a specialist at IU Health Bloomington. “The doctor spent time with me and was able to diagnose me very quickly,” Michael recalled. “She knew exactly what was wrong with me and was able to get treatment started pretty quickly.”

Michael had Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves.

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Barbara Slessinger was the first to utilize BRRH’s outpatient therapy services

Barbara Slessinger has the distinction of being the first individual to utilize the outpatient services now offered at Bloomington Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. Barbara experienced a fall in the community that resulted in a shattered left femoral neck fracture requiring surgical repair involving the placement of a steel rod, screws, and a spring. She underwent surgery at IU Health Bloomington, and following surgery, doctors recommended post-acute rehabilitation to help Barbara return to her prior level of function. She came to BRRH because she needed a more intensive level of care to achieve that goal. In addition, the regular physician oversight provided at BRRH would help manage some of Barbara’s other medical needs post-surgery.

Before her injury, Barbara lived in Bloomington and enjoyed spending time with her family, especially her grandkids. When not with her grandkids, Barbara enjoyed reading and crocheting. “I was independent before my injury,” Barbara noted. “And when I got to BRRH after surgery, I could barely stand, and I definitely couldn’t walk. It took two people just to get me up. The doctors told me it would take six months to a year before I was back to normal.”

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Kevin chose BRRH to regain his function and independence following a recent hospitalization.

Though he lives with Parkinson’s disease, Kevin McClure lived a largely independent life before his recent hospitalization. “It made getting around challenging,” Kevin said of Parkinson’s, “but I was still able to do what I wanted to do.”

Parkinson’s also taught Kevin not to mess around regarding his health. So, when he began experiencing shortness of breath and a cough, he went to the ER at IU Health Bloomington Hospital. There, Kevin was admitted with an infection that had gone to his lungs, as well as an exacerbation of his COPD and Parkinson’s. Unfortunately, Kevin’s health got worse before it got better, as he developed septic shock, impairments to his heart and kidneys, and required a tracheostomy.

“I couldn’t even lift my arms,” Kevin recalled. “I needed a lift just to get out of bed.”

After spending thirty days in the hospital, Kevin transferred to Bloomington Regional Rehabilitation Hospital at the recommendation of his doctor and case managers. “A liaison from BRRH came in and talked to me about the requirements, explained the program, and the benefits,” he noted. “They took care of all the insurance issues and arranged the transfer.”

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“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!”

 

Before the accident, Kristopher Ogle was an avid golfer, hiker, and camper. He loved the outdoors and worked full-time at the water company. His job was strenuous, running heavy machinery and doing a lot of work with his hands. At home, Kristopher lived with his wife and dogs.

Then, on Easter weekend, Kristopher was involved in a severe car accident. Ejected from the car, Kristopher sustained multiple injuries, including a brain injury, a torn diaphragm, a lacerated liver, and a right hip injury. He also suffered many fractures, including two neck fractures, two back fractures, a fractured sternum, six rib fractures, a shattered pelvis, fractures to his knee, ankle, and foot, and “a few other small fractures of toes, teeth, etc.”

Kristopher spent weeks in the hospital just to stabilize. While there, he was made aware of Bloomington Regional Rehabilitation Hospital, the only acute rehab hospital in south-central Indiana. “I just knew I wanted to get out of the hospital and on the road to recovery,” Kristopher recalled.

“I am so glad I ended up here.”

At BRRH, Kristopher began putting in the work to regain his independence. “I am goal-oriented and driven,” he shared. “I wanted to get back to my life. I’ve always been active, and I didn’t want my life to change.”

Kristopher would have to draw on this motivation because therapy proved to be more of a challenge than he anticipated. “I thought it was going to be easy once I got to rehab. Boy, was I wrong. It was hard!”

That hard work paid off, and Kristopher made significant progress in his recovery at BRRH.

“When I got here, I couldn’t even move my leg,” Kristopher said. Now I have almost full movement, and I am discharging a week early. Without my therapists, I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. My PT, Maribeth, and my OT, Claire, have helped me get to this point today.”

Kristopher continued, “Everyone here has been amazing. All of my nurses, the techs, the therapists, the housekeeper, and the dietary staff. The food has been great. I really have to give credit to everyone, especially Maribeth and Claire.”

With his rehab stay completed, Kristopher is glad he put in the work. “No matter how hard it was, I wanted to give 100% every day in therapy, and that’s what I did. I wanted to have some form of my old life back. Every year, we take a hiking trip in Colorado, and I am hopeful to be able to do that this year, too.”

Kristopher is most excited to get back to his wife, Heather. “She has been here every step of the way,” he said with a smile. “She visits me daily, and she’s stepped up and is getting trained to help me. My mother and mother-in-law are all stepping up to help when I go home. And I cannot thank them all enough.”

“I am also looking forward to seeing my dogs. I got a new puppy just before the accident, and I cannot wait to get home to see the puppy.”

“In the end, I cannot thank Bloomington Regional Rehabilitation Hospital enough. The crew here is phenomenal, and I cannot wait to come back in when I visit.”