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Thread: Recent Accident to My Son

  1. #21
    I rehabbed at Good Sam and thought I got pretty good care. I have nothing to compare it too.What would have been different if I had gone to Craig or Sheppard?

    I also think it's important to have a strong support network close. Due to the circumstances of my injury, I was completely alone during my rehab, almost no friends or family contact until my release. I think that was the hardest part of my injury.
    My blog: Living Life at Butt Level

    Ignite Phoenix #9 - Wheelchairs and Wisdom: Living Life at Butt Level

    "I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit."

    Dawna Markova Author of Open Mind.

  2. #22
    I can understand the thought process your going through. My son was injured out of state and we had similiar decisions to make. We decided to transfer him closer to home during a small window of time we had after he was stabilized. The hospital he was being transferred to was comparable to the one he was leaving. Both were large university hospitals. We thought it would be good for all of us if he was closer to home.

    Your son is obviously farther along with his recovery and transferring him should not be a problem. The company my son worked for, had additional insurance coverage for that transport. My son was airlifted and the additional insurance policy through a different insurance carrier, covered it. So, you might want to check with your contact at his company, to see if they do have a policy that covers transporting him to another facility.

    I think the decision to move my son closer to home was a good one. During rehab there were countless friends that lifted his spirits. The rehab was good and we were pleased with how well it went.

    At 5 months post injury, after he was stronger, he did another course of inpatient rehab at a facility that set the bar a little higher for recovery. We live in Ohio and went to the Rehab Institute of Chicago for further therapy. The time was right for more rigorous therapy and the results again, were good. I would think that the RIC and Craig are comparable. A Model SCI Center offers so much more. If you don't think the time is right to go to Craig now, try to go later. Don't feel pressured to do it now. Initially, rehab will consist of daily living skills which can be addressed at any good rehab center.

    At a Model SCI Center the therapies are so much more comprehensive and the doctors are so much more knowledgeable. After all, they treat SCI on a regular basis. With his PPO insurance, this should not be a problem. You will have to justify the additional therapy and I would be happy to share with you what we did to get it covered.

    I'm not sure how long your son's cobra will last. I would check into that and try to get as much therapy as you can during that time period. My son's cobra started 6 months out and lasts for a couple years after that. It's not cheap by any means but, it offers him options for treatments and rehab.

    Good luck with your decision and if you have any additional questions don't hesitate to PM me.

    "Our lives begin to end the day
    we become silent about things that matter."
    - Martin Luther King Jr

  3. #23
    While it would be nice to have family close by it is much more important that he be in the best SCI specialty hospital/program he can get into, be craig or shepherd. He will be busy with therapy most of the day so time for family will be limited. The quality of acute rehab care will directly impact the long term prognosis. I can’t stress this enough,

    The quality of acute rehab care will directly impact the long term prognosis.

    It’s much more important to get to the correct facility than it is to have family nearby

  4. #24


    I made a 4 hour trek from hospital to rehab and it was brutal. Just make sure he's got plenty of pain meds for whatever the duration is.

    Your son should also have a death & dismemberment clause with his work life insurance. He will be eligible for a lump sum disbursement for quadraplegia/paraplegia depending on his injury level. quad pays higher than para. helped me out considerably when it came to buying an accessible home, and could give your son housing options as well.

  5. #25
    I also vote that the quality of the rehab is the most important thing in this short term. I base this on a few things which are actually assumptions, and the knowledge that rehab time is far too short. Family time is forever. Time with family during the crucial rehab days is a luxury, not a necessity. We were 25 miles apart, I saw my family 2 or 3 times a week. I lived for it but I wouldn't have died without it. (I was a grown woman.)

    The MOST important thing you get in rehab is education. I'm assuming the education and information will be most complete if one is in the best rehab possible.

    The 2nd most important thing is creative problem solving. I'm assuming that the best OT's (best imo meaning most creative) will be employed at the best rehabs.

    PT-very important. Presumably the best staff and equipment, and the most cutting edge techniques, will be found at the best rehabs.

    Nursing/support staff-Maybe this should be first. We need to get healthier and stronger in rehab. Bad staff when one is vulnerable will waste the precious few days of rehab, doing things like healing sores and uti's. I have seen some bad staff at a model sci center.

    Much of rehab is simple gutbucket labor, that can be done anywhere. The expertise which is so important can't necessarily be found at any rehab on earth.

    Good luck with your choice.

  6. #26
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Madison,Wisconsin, USA
    I would vote for the quality of a major rehab center also. Not only are the skills better, the peer support is a major advantage. The short duration allowed by insurance for rehab really dictates concentration on the task at hand and becoming self-sufficiant. Family and friends will be there when he's done but rehab and extended SCI education is usually a once only deal with many insurance companies. Best of luck.

  7. #27

    Choosing a Rehab Facility

    Roger, I'm not sure how old your son is, but when my son was injured at age 18, we chose Shepherd Center in Atlanta as the best possible place he could be. We live in NJ and had a facility closer to home that the insurance company would have preferred that he go to, but we thought Shepherd offered the best care. It is a HUGE decision, but will affect SO much later on down the line. We (immediate family and some friends) were able to make the trip to GA from NJ quite frequently, but having friends around is really not the most important thing at this point. The support is wonderful, yes, but there is a lot to do and learn, and it is crucial that you learn the best care, techniques, etc. from the best staff available to you. As his mom, I stayed with him the whole time with just one short break at home. Shepherd has a wonderful program, as I'm sure Craig does, but I am not personally familiar with it. Do your homework and make the decision on where to go for the best reasons.
    I am sorry you and your son and whole family are in this situation, but you will find wonderful support and good information here.
    Any questions, please ask!
    Oh, and just be sure to keep in touch with the ins co on a regular basis. You should be assigned a case manager and they can make all the difference in the world. But they need to know what you're doing - BEFORE you do it! Good luck.

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Phoenix AZ

    Rehab Decision

    Brian is much better. He's alert and can speak faintly. We're trying to get things arranged to send him to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta for physical therapy. We're getting some pressure from the case worker at the hospital to make a decision quickly. I was shocked Tuesday with Brian showed substantial improvement that the case worker really started pressuring us. She said we had to make an irrevocable decision on rehab almost immediately and if Brian went to the Barrow Neuro Therapy even for a day to get off of the expensive ICU floor he wouldn't be allowed to move to any other center for physical therapy. The thing that really shocked me was that just a day earlier they were telling us not to make plans ahead of where we were. Take it one day at a time. Fortunately the case worker at Blue Shield of CA was a lot more tolerant of our need for more information. She even said that she was flying to Phoenix to meet with us and Brian to help us through this whole process. I was surprised that she was going to come from somewhere in California to Phoenix rather than doing it over the telephone or internet.
    When Brian is at Shepherd my wife and daughter will be with him. What kind of vehicle do we need to allow Brian to get out of the Center on Sunday when he wouldn't have rehab. I have a Ford Expedition but I'm not sure if Brian would be able to get into this vehicle. The seats are pretty high. I'm thinking that I'll either drive the car to Atlanta or have it shipped. The other option is to buy a car in Atlanta and then bring it back to Phoenix after the therapy at Shepherd is completed.

  9. #29
    Some people have mentioned this to you, but insurances are sort of weird while you are in the acute rehabilitation phase, they do not allow you to leave the hospital (on your off days). I.e. if you are capable of leaving the hospital on your off day, you are capable of going home.

  10. #30
    I had the same situation Dan has mentioned. He needs max number of rehab days. Don't endanger it with a day off!

    During my initial rehab stay I was allowed to go home a few times. They discharged me for 2 months, waited for the c-collar to come off, then re-admitted me for 2 weeks. During the 2 week re-admission I wasn't allowed to go home at all. 2 of the longest weekends of my life...

    During the first admission, there is so much to learn and do that I kept myself fully occupied. I barely had time to sleep.

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