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March 26, 2013

Therapy helps woman overcome brain injury

(Continued)

“I fooled them,” Barbara said recently as she practiced some e=xercises during her biweekly occupational-therapy sessions at the Wellness Center at PARC’s rehabilitation services.

While at the Skilled Nursing Facility, Barbara began receiving physical, occupational and speech therapy.

“They spent several weeks giving Barb rehab,” Mike said. “They helped her start to walk, helped remove the tube so she could start to eat on her own.”

She advanced to a point where she no longer needed to remain at CVPH but could return home after six weeks of intensive therapy at Fanny Allen rehab center in Vermont.

“When Barb arrived there, their analysis was that she would probably go home in a wheelchair,” Mike said. “She left in a walker. They called her their miracle child.”

She continued therapy on an outpatient basis and will reach her one-year anniversary with CVPH rehab services in mid-April. She has “graduated” from physical therapy and now attends sessions to work on daily activities in occupational therapy and on improving her ability to talk.

“Our objectives, our goals have been very simple, to improve her quality of life,” said CVPH speech therapist Carrie Coty. “We worked as a team, and she worked hard every day; it didn’t matter what the challenge was.”

As she progressed beyond those basic skills, she also started to work on strengthening her communication skills, learning to read and write from scratch. Last October, she was able to write her name but little else. Now, she is writing complete paragraphs, expressing her feelings through words.

She is also working on routine functions with senior occupational therapist Natalie Smith.

“She is able to do her daily routines,” Smith said. “She’s doing more to clean the house, setting the table, playing cards with her friends, walking around the mall.”

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