Melissa was training for a 5k last spring and making great progress with her weight loss goals when her ongoing back problems took a turn for the worse. She was having severe pain and, one day, could not move anything from the waist down. Melissa’s husband took her to the hospital where she had to be wheeled in and left alone due to COVID-19. She was crying and terrified to learn she required emergency surgery to take pressure off her nerves. After surgery, Melissa needed intensive rehabilitation, which led her to Summa Rehab Hospital.

Melissa recalls her stay at Summa Rehab Hospital and stresses that the program is all-encompassing from nursing, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological assistance to help her deal with the trauma she experienced.

When she arrived at Summa Rehab Hospital, Melissa could not even stand without assistance. But, after 25 days, she could stand and pivot to transfer with assistance. She said her physical therapist, Megan, and occupational therapist, Rachel, “definitely motivated me to get out of bed and pushed me harder than what I thought I could do.” They were also very compassionate on her rougher days. Her motivation improved when, after just seven days, she could stand up using the NeuroGym.

Melissa was so impressed with Summa Rehab Hospital that she requested to return after a second surgery to fuse her spine. This was a much shorter stay that focused on using stairs, balancing, and occupational therapy using the Wii and cooking.

Walking easily now, Melissa would like to keep improving despite the neuropathy in her feet. One of her goals is to complete the 5k she was training for. Melissa is very grateful for Summa Rehab Hospital and all they did to make this a possibility.