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Orthopedic services

Accident left me gravely ill, but ED, Neuro ICU and Acute Rehab care was like a miracle.

Jerry Fraley
South County

My wife,  Chris Fraley, R.N., has known for the past 12 years she has terrific co-workers in the Acute Rehab department of St. Anthony’s Medical Center.

 Now I know it, too, from the care I received after an accident in September 2012 that left me gravely ill. I was carrying boxes up the basement stairs at our South County home when I lost my balance and fell from the top step to the concrete floor at the bottom, bleeding and unable to move.  I am lucky to be alive, the way I fell. Fortunately, Chris was still at home, and called 911 and our two sons to come from work.  

I was rushed to St. Anthony’s, to CT and then to MRI.  Dr. Tanya Quinn, a neurological surgeon, was called in to consult and broke the news that I was an incomplete quadriplegic with central cord syndrome at the C4 level.  Dr. Quinn performed emergency surgery, which went well.  But they would not know how much motor and sensory function that I would regain.  I spent a week in St. Anthony’s Neuro ICU, where at first I could only wiggle my toes.  

 My next stay was in St. Anthony’s Acute Rehab department, under the care of Dr. Harmeen Chawla, a spinal cord specialist.  My wife and I are tremendously thankful for the extraordinary and compassionate care given me by the many doctors, nurses, therapists and technicians who crossed my path. We are convinced that these caregivers made a huge difference in my outcome.  

It’s just like a miracle: I was calling my caregivers drill sergeants, but when I was discharged from St. Anthony’s in November, I was walking 200 feet with a walker with arm supports.  It’s amazing, the care I’ve received.

Though I have many more hurdles to conquer, and have had my share of setbacks, I can feed myself with my left thumb and index fingers and, with the assistive devices provided, can assist with the activities of daily living. My recovery shows the value of hard work and motivation, coupled with a positive attitude and great care.

So many people have provided support, from the Emergency Department to Neuro ICU and Acute Rehab, the managers and secretaries, dietary and housekeeping, respiratory and transporters. This is what a patient and family needs when they are dealing with a hospitalization.

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