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Thread: Kessler Institute, NJ

  1. #21
    LindaSue, is your family member named Kim? If so, I have been following her situation through the "CarePages". If not, then there is another equestrian at Kessler who is going through a rough time too. She had her accident in Florida. I thought you might want to "connect" with her at Kessler.

    My daughter, Karen Brain, also has a spinal cord injury from riding, and I have found this site to be my lifesaver! There is truly so much information that you can get here that I wouldn't know where else to get that information. Karen's level of injury is much lower - T12.

    I wish all the best for your loved one's recovery. Good for you for getting information for her.
    Darlene Brain

  2. #22
    Karen'sMom - Kim is another equestrian that got hurt after my brother's fiance did. Tara was also in Florida. Kim and her have both connected and talk a bit when they have the time.

    I went on Karen's site and I believe there are two gentlemen who are friends with Karen that shared Karen's story with her while she was in the Trauma center in Florida. Peter and Paul were their names and they are from Canada.
    God Bless.

  3. #23
    Hi LindaSue, thanks for the reply to my post. I am sorry that Tara has sustained a spinal cord injury, but I'm glad that you found this site! I hope she continues to progress in her Rehab.

    Yes, Karen (and I) know Peter and Paul. Peter was the Coach for the Canadian Team when Karen went to the World Equestrian Games in Italy in 1998 for 3-day eventing. Is that the sport that Tara does also? Karen is now a member of the Canadian Para-Equestrian Team (Dressage) and it is VERY competitive. Some of the riders are amazing ........... many high level quads.

    She did try low level eventing twice after her injury but realized that she really should not have been doing that. One time, while she was walking the cross-country course, she came to a water jump that was like a pond, with fences on each side of it. It had stepping stones over the pond to get to the other side, but because of Karen's injury, she could not walk across it without help. Peter (and probably Paul) and many, many other riders walked the course and stopped to talk to her at the jump, but Karen was too proud (or stupid) to tell anyone the predicament she was in, and no one realized that she was stuck and couldn't get past it. Finally, in desperation, she clawed her way over a huge log, to carry on, but I felt so badly and saddened when she told me that. I am sure anyone would have helped her if they at all realized that she could not walk on the stepping stones!!! .. stubborn girl!

    Tell Tara that if she ever needs help, just ask for it! Someone will be more than happy to help.

    Good Luck to her with her continued recovery! I wish her well.


  4. #24
    I've been looking over this thread, and this seems to be everyone's expeience here. Literally, everyone I talk to, this is what happens, and it's tragic.

    My question is, how is it that everyone that HASN'T gone there or isn't from the area has heard that it is so GOOD? Where does this reputation come from?

    All I heard when I was in inpatient at Shepherd was how good it was. Then I found out the truth. I don't get how a place with so many unhappy patients continues to SEEM so good.

    Mind boggling.
    C5/6- Workin' on Recovery

  5. #25
    I spent 3 months at Kessler - West Orange in 2004,
    The medical staff - i.e. nurses and aids were stretched to their limit by understaffing (one of my room mates had been there 10 yrs. earlier and said that we four guys would have had one aid for our room then, in '04 we were on of three or four rooms per aid).
    The therapists were excellent in my opinion. When I went back for a visit later in the year, some of the older therapists (among the best imo) had left because benefits had been slashed by new management.
    I credit my primary Dr. and Kessler with the fact that I can walk now, I just don't know how things are now.

  6. #26
    Kessler was sold to a different corporation a few years ago. This may account for many of these changes. I think part of its reputation 10 years ago was based on CR choosing it for his rehab, but I know that quite a few of their better staff left after the sale and change in administration.


  7. #27
    Correct and a friend of ours kept telling us to get her into Shepherds but we couldn't and yes because CR went everyone thinks it is great. "T" went there because she needed to come back to Jersey to collect her Medicaid benefits. She also knows that they are not going to be the ones to help her get better. We know that Push To Walk is going to be our blessing. (by the way Darren your mom has been awesome in answering my emails). I work for a big pharmaceutical company and connected with one of the doctors at Kessler because one of our executives was there for a brain and spinal cord injury and they offered all the help in the world when we didn't complain and he told me to contact them if there was any problems. Well I did - I sent a list of all the bad things and haven't had a response back for 2 weeks. Also they have now shut down the Kessler in East Orange and have combined the two facilities so now they are really understaffed. We have made friends with most of the nurses and other staff so that they kind of look out for us, but they all have one foot out the door. They also had a bomb scare about 4 weeks ago, but they kept that very quiet. Probably a disgruntled patient. I got there last night at 6:30pm and an older gentlemen was at the nurses station sitting in his chair with his gown hanging off his shoulder, not able to move or talk - I believe he had just been brought in by an ambulance - when I left last night at 10:00pm he was still in the same spot and not one person had moved him. Very sad. Fortunately "T" gets out on April 2nd and then we are off to Push To Walk. Look out Darren here we come!!

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