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Patient Stories

As a national leader in rehabilitative care, Spaulding Rehabilitation Network helps patients find their strength every day. But it's the words and experiences of our patients that best describe what our services can really do.

Our patient stories provide a look inside the outstanding rehabilitative services available through our network of world-class providers. We invite you to read these compelling and unforgettable stories - and learn how our rehabilitative care has changed people's lives.

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  • Patient Story

    Vernon: Encontrando fuerza en el Spaulding

    En el 1ro de enero de 2020, el músico Vernon West fue ingresado en el hospital. No volvería a casa durante ocho meses. Después de una batalla de cuatro años contra la leucemia, Vernon había desarrollado una masa cerebral que le hizo perder la sensibilidad en el brazo y la pierna derechos. Pasó gran parte de 2020 en centros de cuidados intensivos y rehabilitación, una caminada aún más complicada por la crisis del COVID-19. Vernon dijo que recuperó su fuerza en Spaulding Nursing and Therapy Center Brighton, gracias a la habilidad y la compasión de su dedicado equipo. "Su devoción y amor, y su firme creencia en mí, fue una parte integral de mi experiencia de rehabilitación", dice Vernon. "Eso tiene un efecto incluso más allá de sus habilidades y ellos tienen mucha habilidad!" En Spaulding, ayudamos a nuestros pacientes y familias a encontrar su fuerza física, y también su fuerza emocional y su confianza. Es una faceta importante de la rehabilitación y la recuperación, especialmente a la luz de la pandemia actual. Y el apoyo de los donantes ayuda a alimentar esa fuerza. Este año, las donaciones desmedidas a Spaulding han financiado ayudas de asistencia a los empleados más necesitados, han ayudado a

  • Patient Story

    Tom's Amputation Story - Spaulding Rehab

    "The work done at Spaulding is extraordinary and the hundreds of patients served here each year are truly lucky to have such a facility available to them." On December 8, 2010, Tom Leonard's family made the wrenching decision to have a surgeon cut off his left leg, just above the knee. A rapid-moving and severe bacterial infection had invaded his leg and was now threatening his vital organs. Removal of the limb was necessary to save his life. "Each day since," Tom says, "has been a gift." After he recovered from the surgery, Tom was transferred to Spaulding North Shore, where he remained for 11 weeks, learning how to walk with a new prosthetic leg. Bedridden for many weeks, the first moment he was able to be up and on his feet was a miracle to him. He has trouble finding the words to describe the care and the new lease on life he received. "It would be difficult for me to even begin to try to describe the wonderful therapeutic care I received in this great facility," Tom observes. "Trying to single out one therapist over another would be like trying to suggest which of your children you love the best. They

  • Patient Story

    Tedy Bruschi's Stroke Story - Spaulding Rehab

    "I was there for Spaulding long before I knew I'd ever need them myself," Tedy says of his rehabilitation at Spaulding. "They are real champions. They made me whole again and got me back to the field." Long before he was ever a patient, Tedy Bruschi had visited patients at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, hailed their remarkable recoveries and signed autographs. But February 15, 2005, was different. Having just won his third Super Bowl and competed in his first Pro Bowl, Tedy Bruschi, the New England Patriots linebacker, developed a blood clot that caused him to suffer a mild stroke. His wife called 911, and Tedy was rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital. The team at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital also sprang into action, working with trainers from the Patriots on Tedy's rehabilitation plan. In collaboration with the Patriots' staff, the Spaulding team developed a physical therapy plan for Tedy that required hard work, perseverance and total commitment from Tedy, his doctors and his therapists. His rehabilitation inspired fans who longed for Tedy's return to the defensive squad. But more importantly, it inspired thousands of stroke survivors and rehab patients who facing similar obstacles. Tedy went on to have one of his best seasons ever following

  • Patient Story

    Meet Robert Lewis, Jr. | A Spaulding Story of Strength

    COVID-19 survivor and Spaulding patient Robert Lewis, Jr. shares his journey: from diagnosis with the novel coronavirus through his rehabilitation at Spaulding Hospital Cambridge—and what it means to him to be back at work at the community outreach organization he founded in Boston. My COVID-19 Recovery—As Told by Robert Lewis, Jr. I’m not sure how I expected to feel when I turned 60 years old last spring, but I didn’t anticipate a trip to the emergency department. I certainly didn’t expect to be sedated, intubated, and wake up 12 days later. But on March 22—my 60th birthday— that’s what happened. It was the beginning of my COVID-19 journey. It was an intense and frightening time. When I was moved to Spaulding Hospital Cambridge for rehabilitation after three weeks of acute care, I had to relearn…everything: how to breathe without an oxygen tank; how to walk; how to touch my nose and tie my sneakers. I had to get my strength back. What struck me about Spaulding was the incredible treatment that I—and my family—received from everyone there, from the moment I arrived until I walked out just one week later. There’s a culture of love and compassion and excellence that radiates from every person. Trust

  • Patient Story

    Meet Martha and the “Spaulding Sisters”

    The self-titled “Spaulding Sisters” made the most of 2020. The group of women met at Spaulding Boston over the past several years, bonding over their shared love of aquatic therapy. When the COVID-19 pandemic closed our community water fitness classes, the Sisters came together to support each other and their health in a whole new way. The ladies are avid participants in the Spaulding Adaptive Sports Program’s virtual classes (launched in response to the pandemic), “meeting” several times a week to exercise virtually together from the safety of their homes. They are among the more than 1,000 participants who have benefitted from virtual classes like yoga, boxing, exercise for stroke and TBI, dance with Parkinson’s, and more. In 2020, donations were used to pivot Spaulding adaptive sports programming to be entirely virtual—supporting the health and wellness of an even broader community, when so many were isolated and unable to participate in their regular fitness and community activities. Martha Starr, “Spaulding Sister,” patient, and volunteer, says the virtual programs have been a true lifesaver in 2020. And so have the Sisters’ weekly Friday Zoom calls to check in on one another. They share resources and coping strategies, discuss their conditions, and laugh together. Martha

  • Patient Story

    Conoce a Pierce

    Quién estuvo a su lado cuando lograste una gran meta? Para Pierce Scroggins, fue su fisioterapeuta de Spaulding, Eric, quien corrió con Pierce mientras completaba una carrera de 5 km en su ciudad natal de Pembroke, MA. Fue un logro importante para Pierce, de 25 años, que había perdido toda la capacidad de moverse, hablar o comer solo dos años antes. Nuestra comunidad de donantes también estaba con Pierce. Donaciones a Spaulding proporciona recursos y apoyo para ayudar a pacientes como Pierce a lograr sus metas. En 2018, justo después de que Pierce se graduara de la universidad con un título en ingeniería mecánica, un fuerte dolor de cabeza reveló un tumor canceroso extremadamente raro en su tronco cerebral. Pasó los siguientes ocho meses en hospitales, inclusos Spaulding Cambridge y Boston, sometiéndose a múltiples cirugías cerebrales y quimioterapia. Pierce estaba decidido a mejorar. Volvió a aprender a caminar. El se fue a casa. Y luego volvió el cáncer. De repente, Pierce tenía un nuevo objetivo: fortalecerse el suficiente para poder recibir un trasplante de médula ósea que le salvaría la vida y posteriormente recibir radiación de protones.  Alcanzó este difícil logro con la ayuda de su equipo de terapia ambulatoria Spaulding y luego comenzó el

  • Patient Story

    Meet Liam

    Virtual visits, the expertise of a pediatric feeding-swallowing therapist, and a determined mom helped Liam overcome a condition that prevented him from taking in nutrients to grow strong – all as COVID-19 shut down outpatient services.  Kathy Yukna knew something was wrong after her son, Liam, was born. He wasn’t able to nurse.  “The more he struggled to latch on, he would get so frustrated,” says Kathy, of Kingston. Both mom and baby were exhausted after long feeding sessions that left Liam still hungry. His pediatrician referred Liam to Spaulding Cape Cod’s Eileen M. Ward Outpatient Center for Children in Sandwich for a pediatric feeding-swallowing evaluation.   He saw Cheryl Pelletier, M.S., CCC, SLP the Lead Pediatric Feeding-Swallowing Therapist and an Advanced Speech-language Pathologist at the center. She observed that Liam couldn’t sustain an effective suck while feeding. The cause: a condition in which the cords of tissue anchoring the tongue to the bottom of the mouth and the upper lip to the gum line are overly tight. An estimated four to eleven percent of newborns are born with tongue and/or lip ties.  In Liam’s case, the oral tetherings meant that he couldn’t properly nurse or bottle feed well enough to gain weight. In fact,

  • Patient Story

    Jared's Story - Trauma and Nerve Pain - Spaulding Rehab

    "Officer down!" That's what 46-year old Jared MacDonald called into his police radio at 3:00 am on a frosty February night. En route to rescue a murder investigation on Cape Cod, Officer MacDonald was rushing past a car set on fire by the suspect when a bullet skimmed his spine. Toppled, he lay on the snow directing the other officers. Minutes later, the suspect was apprehended and Jared was airlifted to safety for emergency treatment. At first, Jared lay in his hospital bed at Spaulding, nerve pain flaring in his right foot and leg. The touch of a sheet was unbearable. Our nursing staff provided constant care for his wounds and the shock from the trauma he experienced. The next day, when Jared met Trina Modoono, his physical therapist, he told her he wanted to walk as soon as possible. "Not until you can put a shoe on your foot," Trina said. "That's the first step." Two nights later, he lay awake in bed, easing the sheet over his foot, testing how much pain he could bear. Just three days after that, he put on his shoe. "From that day on," Jared says, "Spaulding's amazing team led me on the path of

  • Patient Story

    Conoce a Ethan

    Quién estuvo a su lado cuando lograste una meta importante en su vida? Para Ethan Wang, será una comunidad de familiares, amigos y cuidadores que lo animarán (virtualmente) mientras camina en su graduación de la Universidad de Boston este año. Es un logro importante para Ethan, quien sufrió una lesión en la médula espinal mientras estudiaba en el extranjero, paralizándolo del cuello para abajo y descarrilando su primer año de universidad. En Bali, en marzo de 2019, Ethan resultó gravemente herido mientras nadaba en el océano. Necesitaba de una cirugía inmediata para salvarle la vida, seguida de una transferencia médica a Singapur para más cirugías, antes de que pudiera regresar a su hogar en Massachusetts. Luego vino el largo camino de la rehabilitación. Nuestra comunidad de donantes también ha estado con Ethan en este viaje. Los donativos a Spaulding brindan recursos y apoyo para ayudar a pacientes como Ethan a lograr sus metas. "La principal fuente de fuerza de nuestra familia es el increíble apoyo que hemos recibido", dice Willis, el padre de Ethan. "Hay mucha fuerza en la comunidad, y eso es lo que nos ha ayudado". La parálisis causada por una lesión de la médula espinal (LME) es un evento intenso que cambia

  • Patient Story

    Meet Ethan | A Spaulding Story of Strength

    Para leer esta historia en español, visite nuestra página en el Internet. Who was by your side when you achieved a major life goal? For Ethan Wang, it will be a community of family, friends, and caregivers cheering for him (virtually) as he walks at his Boston University graduation this year. It’s a significant milestone for Ethan, who sustained a spinal cord injury while studying abroad—paralyzing him from the neck down and derailing his junior year of college. In Bali in March 2019, Ethan was critically injured while swimming in the ocean. He needed immediate life-saving surgery, followed by a medical evacuation and more surgeries in Singapore, before he could return home to Massachusetts. Then came the long journey of rehabilitation. Our donor community has been with Ethan on this journey, too. Gifts to Spaulding provide resources and support to help patients like Ethan achieve their goals. “Our family’s main source of strength is the amazing support we have received,” says Ethan’s father, Willis. “There is so much strength in community, and that is what has helped us.” Paralysis caused by a spinal cord injury (SCI) is an intense, life-changing event. Ethan spent 148 days as an inpatient at Spaulding Boston, achieving a new physical milestone