Cheryl E.

Cheryl E.

"You fed me when I could not feed myself. You bathed me when I couldn't even hold a washcloth. You turned me in bed when I couldn't move my arms and legs. You encouraged me when I was discouraged, and provided a smile when I needed it."

This was quite the adjustment for Cheryl, an active and independent woman. Along with her husband, they ran their own business. But one day, Cheryl began to experience numbness and tingling in her lower extremities. Soon, her arms were affected, too.

She admitted to St. Alexius Hospital. Cheryl was diagnosed with Guillan-Barre Syndrome (GBS).

The weakness Cheryl experienced progressed to total paralysis. She required a ventilator and eventually a tracheostomy and feeding tube. She transferred to Vibra Hospital of Central Dakotas, though she was so ill she doesn't remember the transfer.

Respiratory therapy got right to work on liberating Cheryl from her ventilator. "Their attentiveness and almost immediate response to my respiratory needs helped me trust them and relieved my anxiety," noted Cheryl.

Cheryl also recalled the caring and supportive nature of the staff at Vibra. "There were some nights it was difficult to sleep," she remembered, "and a staff member would sit and talk to me till I fell asleep. How sweet is that?!"

Continuing to progress, Cheryl was liberated from the vent and saw her feeding tube and tracheostomy removed. The therapy teams also worked with Cheryl to keep her joints from stiffening. The therapists challenged her to do whatever her muscles would allow. By the time Cheryl discharged from Vibra, though she was unable to feel her legs, she could move them with great concentration. She had also regained some of the strength in her arms, able to move them but struggling with any type of grasp or feeling in her fingers. This allowed Cheryl to progress to an acute rehabilitation hospital.

"Your care and thoughtfulness is evident in all of you," Cheryl's sister told her care team. "I will be eternally grateful. These first months of tedious and conscientious care will enable Cheryl to return to full function. Thank you for your patience in addressing my questions. Thank you is not a big enough word!"

We are grateful that Cheryl had such a concerned and engaged support system! Cheryl's positive attitude and the support of her family played a major role in the progress she made at Vibra. It will continue to serve her well through the next stages of her recovery.