At Kettering Rehab, helping patients regain the mobility and faculties lost or damaged by injury, illness, health condition, or surgery is our primary objective. And while the awards and
other professional recognitions we receive are always appreciated, our greatest satisfaction comes from improving the quality of our patients' lives. It's why we do what we do. Seeing the
look of accomplishment and pride on the faces of patients who have overcome challenges to meet their goals affirms our mission and keeps us moving forward.
Here are some of their stories.
Devon D'Aurora -Truly Something to be Thankful For
You would never know it by looking at him, but on Thanksgiving Day 2009, then 18-year old Devon D'Aurora underwent major emergency surgery to remove a blood clot within his spinal column causing paralysis from the chest down.
It all started when Devon experienced shooting pain and temporary loss of feeling in his legs after he purposefully "cracked" his back by stretching against his chair during class at Springboro High School - a habit of his at the time. He was taken by ambulance to Sycamore Hospital where a CT scan was performed. Because nothing was found, he was stabilized and returned home to rest with medication. The next day, however, his condition worsened so he returned to the hospital where an MRI revealed the blood clot compressing his spinal cord. He was then admitted to Kettering Medical Center's ICU. Within hours slight signs of decreased movement became full blown paralysis from the chest down. He was given morphine to help manage the excruciating pain in his back.
Doctors decided they had to perform emergency surgery to relieve the pressure on his spinal cord in hopes of reversing the paralysis. The longer he was paralyzed, the worse his chances for a full recovery. The best way to help Devon was to perform a laminectomy - a surgical procedure that would remove the spinous processes (the boney coverings that you can feel on your back) from seven of his vertebrae to relieve the pressure and allow them to drain the blood that had collected in his spine.
Following surgery, Devon remained in the ICU for five days where, at first, the only movement he could manage was wiggling the toes on a single foot. He was moved to the neuro floor where rehab staff worked with him to stimulate feeling in his legs, to sit unassisted and stand. As a young and otherwise healthy individual, Devon's recovery progressed quickly. He moved to the inpatient rehab unit and used a walker one day, then a cane the next day. He was fitted with a stabilizing brace for his torso. After two weeks of work with our rehabilitation staff - using the bike, balance machine, and our Nintendo Wii video game console - his mobility continuously increased. Once his inpatient stay was complete, he finished his rehab with regular visits to his surgeon's office and physical therapy.
Devon was able to return to high school full-time in February 2010, and today, he's a normal, active college freshman attending Eastern Kentucky University.
Eva Withrow - The Right Choice for a Successful Recovery
When Eva Withrow suffered a stroke that severely affected the left side of her body in September 2010, she was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital for immediate treatment. But when it came time for her rehabilitation, Eva chose to go to Kettering Rehab. She stayed with us for a full month - spending three weeks of that time participating in an intensive therapy program that was designed just for her by our team of dedicated specialists. Eva worked on balance and walking as well as speech improvement and completing everyday tasks.
Her family was involved in her rehabilitation too. Our team helped them understand Eva's condition and showed them how they could help her once she got home. Eva's son, Rick Currie, was especially impressed. "You can tell everyone at Kettering takes pride in what they do," he said, "They are all really professional. They knew what she needed and when she needed it, and taught us what we needed to know so we can help her now that she is home."
Eva and her family are happy with their decision to come to Kettering Rehab, and the experience they had here. "We had a lot of choices of places to go, but we went to Kettering," said Ms. Withrow, "they have a new, beautiful facility and we were very happy with our choice. It's always been a good hospital for our family and we speak highly of Kettering. It was the right choice for us."
Continuing her rehabilitation with daily therapy at home, Eva is still making steady progress as she regains more and more of the mobility and abilities she lost as a result of her stroke.
Nehemiah Potts - A Safe & Happy Homecoming
In March 2010, after experiencing numbness in his left leg that spread to the entire left side of his body, Nehemiah Potts underwent MRI and CAT scans at the local VA hospital that revealed a brain tumor the size of a tennis ball. And because the VA was unable to perform the procedure necessary to remove his tumor, Mr. Potts turned to Kettering Medical Center for treatment.
Following his successful surgery, Mr. Potts was left physically unable to do much of anything - for the first three days he couldn't sit up by himself. He stayed in Kettering Rehab for 32 days and underwent therapy every day where he "learned how to do everything ... like a baby." Even at age 72, Mr. Potts responded very well to the therapy and encouragement he received from our team, noting that every member of the staff helped him along in his recovery. He quickly progressed from using a wheelchair to a walker, then to a cane that he now uses only for minimal support.
Although Mr. Potts was very pleased with his experience at Kettering Rehab, what stood out to him most was the way our staff prepared him for life at home. "I was prepared when I got home," he says, "they made sure I could use the steps, the bathroom, and walk around the house before I was able to leave the hospital. They even had me go home a day before I was released to do a home evaluation. They looked at all the areas of my house and assessed any challenges I might have. Then, they provided me with a checklist to make sure I could get around my house okay."
Since his recovery and return home, Mr. Potts has enjoyed getting back to his gardening and time spent with his grandchildren who made a special visit from Washington, D.C. for the holidays.