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Thread: Are we at the right rehab?

  1. #1

    Are we at the right rehab?

    My husband was hurt at work. He was a underground coal miner. The top caved in on him and he was flown to St. Mary's in Evansville In. They took him into surgery within 20 minutes of arriving. Before they took him to the operating room they had done catscans and mri's. We were told that his T10, T11, and T12 was crushed and that it had severed his spinal cord. They told us before the operation that he would never walk again. I asked the dr to give me a percentage and he said less than 1%. My husband was at St. Mary's for 6 days and then went to Frazier Rehab in Louisville Ky. The workers comp said they would send him anywhere we wanted to go. We have been at Frazier for 3 weeks now. He is doing great. They even have him doing the locomotive therapy. I just need to know if we have him at the right rehab or do I need to have him sent somewhere else that will help him more. Any advise would be great. Thanks

  2. #2
    They have a good reputation, but since he is worker's comp, I would also look into the Shepherd Center in Atlanta or RIC in Chicago, or Craig in Denver, and even if you stay at Frasier, consider asking for at least an outpatient (if not an inpatient) program at the Kennedy Kreiger Institute in Baltimore.


  3. #3
    Thank you so much. They have mentioned Craig to us. I have been researching and asking as many questions that I can to figure out what to do or where to go. In your opinion, with that kind of injury what are we needing to do. Everything is happening so fast that I am afraid one decision might cost him walking again.

  4. #4
    Please dont' hesitate to put him in the best rehab you can get. My son's rehab in Houston was horrible. They never spoke with hope, said he'd never walk again and refused to put him in the specialized equipment (he's t-12 also) and I believe they cost him a lot. We chose not to go back to their out-patient program. Craig and Shepherd have a great reputation if you can get him there. If we had to do it all over again, we would have done Craig. Oh.. my son is just 6 months post and he took his first steps this week. It's still very early for your husband and the first few months are difficult. You'll be in a whirlwind for a while, but take one day at a time and don't take no for an answer!
    FAITH: Is not believing God can, but knowing he will.

  5. #5
    That is great about your son. I hope it is the 1st of many steps. ....I have realized real quickly that no cannot be a part of my vocabulary or anyone else's around us. The staff and therapist here at Frazier is great. We are in our 4th week here and they already have doing the locomotive therapy. I just want him to have the very best outpatient. If there is somewhere else better than Frazier I want to know. I have heard great things about Craig and Shepard. Will they take him since it's already been 4 weeks?....Thank you for your advice.

  6. #6
    Thanks darrellswife17, we are very excited and know the best is yet to come. You may have some time to select the outpatient program. Not sure. When my son did rehab in December, he was in a TLSA back brace during his entire stay. They released him and said they couldn't do any more because of the brace as that created limitations on what they could do and to come back for out-patient when his surgeon released him from the brace. My son is T-12 and he was in his brace for 12 weeks. It was during those first few weeks at home that I searched, researched and discovered there was a whole new world of therapies out there and we were so disgusted with TIRR's lack of hope and "learn to live in a chair mentality", we decided to pursue other options. I don't know what the standard protocal is for time-frame to enter out-patient, this is all very new to us as well. Hope that helps.
    FAITH: Is not believing God can, but knowing he will.

  7. #7
    After his acute phase and when he is ready for kick-your-ass recovery, one of the premier outpatient facilities that actually WORKS with your worker's comp/insurance/generic medicare is right around the corner.
    And the truth shall set you free.

  8. #8
    I did my rehab at Cardinal Hill in Lexington back in 1995. Like Frazier it is a CARF accredited facility but not a model SCI center like Craig or Shepherd. In hindsight I don't think I could have made a better choice, for me and my needs. Many here will say that having family close should not be a motivating factor but for me, having my children close was critical. My six year old daughter spent every day by my side (it was summer) and she often kept me going. Besides that, I felt I received excellent care, and I doubt I would have gotten the same personal attention at a larger facility that I got at CHRH. When other patients would cancel their therapy sessions they would allow me to take their spots so I got 1-2 extra hours of therapy every day. All the nursing staff seemed to have years of experience dealing with SCI, and knew how to manage all those problems that go along with having suffered a SCI, both mine and those of other people on the unit (I am a nurse, and very observant of what is going on around me). Every member of the SCI staff, heck even the staff in the dining room, all knew me and were cheering me on. If I didn't like what was on the menu, the cooks would ask me what I wanted instead and then go fix it for me. I know that didn't necessarily directly affect my recovery but it is an example of how willing they were to cater to my personal needs. They fought my insurance company the whole time to get me extra time and ended up extending my stay from about 4 weeks to seven. I can't think of any way that any other facility could have improved on the care that I received.

    I can't speak for Frazier, or even Cardinal Hill anymore, but although I think you probably can't go wrong at Craig or one of those places, I am not convinced that you MUST get your treatment there. I merely believe you need to be more careful at choosing your facility, you are more likely to go wrong. In my case, I didn't really choose (well, I fought for Cardinal Hill because my insurance wanted to send me to a nursing home) as much as I happened to luck out. I lived in Lexington at the time so it just seemed like the logical place to go. I wish your son all the best.

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