Often times the hardest part of recovery after surgery or brain injury is rehabilitation. the team of nurses, therapists and doctors in Avera McKennan's Rehab Unit work so hard to help get patients back to normal life. Nancy Naeve Brown has more on a woman who excelled during inpatient rehabilitation after undergoing major brain surgery just 4 months prior.
Marlene Farrand from Sioux Falls is 73 years old and loves being back on Freedom Way, one of the many roads in her recovery at Avera McKennan's Easy Street Rehab Unit. In May, she knew something wasn't right but couldn't put her finger on it. She was no longer functioning coherently. Thankfully, some good Samaritans called 911.
Marlene says, "I blanked out the minute I laid down in the ambulance. I don't remember coming in to the emergency room and I don't remember anything but waking up in ICU 3 days later."
Doctors discovered a massive tumor was pushing the left side of her brain to right messing up her cognition. Surgeons removed that tumor which was the size of a grapefruit thankfully it wasn't cancer. Over the course of the next month Marlene would go through a month of recovery and inpatient rehabilitation here at Avera McKennan.
Marlene says, "I had an occupational therapist, physical therapist and speech therapist. Every one of them helped me tremendously. They really did."
Physical Therapist Sandy Kreutner worked with Marlene. She says, "I love what I do because of the patients. Every patient could come in with the same diagnosis but they bring something different to the table and every person is different. Getting them back to their lives is a wonderful thing."
Physiatrist Dr. Mark Drymalski with Avera Rehabilitation Services says, "The whole purpose of getting that aggressive therapy right away in the hospital is to improve their function to the point where they can maintain living at home and being home with their family."
Marlene worked very hard to get the weakness on her right side back to where it was pre-brain surgery taking everything in stride one step at a time.
Marlene says, "Every week I could feel the improvement in myself. I could see how I was getting back to myself again."
Marlene knows her team here helped her graduate from easy street with flying colors so she could go back home good as new and that's no easy feat.
Avera McKennan's Stroke Center is the first in the region to be certified by the Joint Commission and is recognized by the American Stroke Association for outstanding performance. Avera McKennan's rehab program opened its doors over 25 years ago in 1984. Since 1988, aspects of the rehab program have been accredited by CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities. Currently, the rehab program is accredited for comprehensive inpatient rehab care for children through adulthood; brain injury rehab for children, adolescents and adults; and stroke rehab.