Mary Jo G.

Mary Jo G.

“I have to say, I could not have picked a better place! Gateway gave me my life back!” MJ exclaims when asked about her experience at Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital.

Mary Jo “MJ” Goebel is a young, independent, and active woman. She is married to a wonderful husband, has a beautiful daughter, and works full time for an insurance company – which she loves! In June of this year, MJ’s life changed drastically. Over the course of several days, MJ progressively lost the strength in her legs and arms. She was admitted to St. Elizabeth Hospital and diagnosed with Guillain-Barre, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves, rapidly causing paralysis.

Unfortunately, there is no quick cure for Guillain-Barre and MJ was terrified when she was told by her Neurologist that she would just have to be patient and wait for her body to heal itself. She wondered if she would ever be independent again. MJ says, “I cannot even explain to you how it feels to go from being independent to all of a sudden being the one at everyone else’s mercy. I could not even eat or go to the bathroom without help. Everything was a chore.”

After several weeks in the hospital, MJ was medically cleared to admit to acute inpatient rehabilitation. She was unable to do anything for herself and had no idea what to expect out of a rehabilitation hospital – to say the least, she was scared. MJ remembers her first days at Gateway vividly. On the morning after her admission, she met her Physical Therapist, David. She recalls that David was very honest and direct with her and how comfortable he made her feel – “David was a godsend,” she raves. After several falls before her admission, MJ understandably had some issues trusting people, but David and the rest of the staff were incredibly patient and understanding that she quickly grew to trust them all.

MJ was at Gateway for 44 days and in that time was able to regain her independence. “The first time I walked was terrifying, but after taking those first few steps I just knew there was nothing that would stop me!”

On August 19, MJ walked out the doors and hasn’t looked back – except to graciously thank the nurses and therapists, of course. By September she was back to work and in the photo you see, she was preparing to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. MJ says that she still has some days that she is easily exhausted, but she is so thankful for the staff at Gateway for giving her life back. “If I could give other people in my position one piece of advice,” she says, “it would be to get to Gateway sooner!”