Marylynn R.

Marylynn R.

Imagine that you can see, hear, understand, and comprehend everything around you. But every time you try to speak, laugh, joke, cry, or scream, you can't. Not because you don't know how to do it, but because your body has failed you. That was the reality for Marilynn when she arrived at Vibra Hospital of Fargo.

Marilynn arrived at Vibra with a condition called Osmotic Demyelination Syndrome. Better known as "locked-in syndrome", this condition blocks the brain's communication with the rest of the body. It's hard not to imagine how terrified Marilynn must have felt. She understood everything going on around her, but was unable to communicate her feelings, wishes, and discomfort. Marilynn relied on her caregivers to do everything for her, and a ventilator to breathe for her.

No one knew if Marilynn would regain her ability to communicate or breathe on her own.

During her stay at Vibra, Marilynn's young family played an active role in her recovery. Constantly by her side, they provided the love, support, and encouragement that fueled Marilynn's healing.

Marilynn progressed at Vibra, ultimately weaning off the ventilator. She regained function in her left arm and leg. Though still unable to speak and in need of a tracheostomy tube, Marilynn made enough progress to discharge to a nursing care center for the next stage of her recovery.

Her ability to communicate restored, Marilynn came back to visit the staff at Vibra. She shared what it felt like being "locked-in" and how she dealt with those limitations. Her testimony provided an important perspective for the staff, helping us to empathize and understand the importance of the littlest things we can do for our patients. Marilynn is an inspiration and a reminder that miracles can happen!