Anderson’s Journey with Inpatient Rehabilitation
With the beginning of each new year comes new challenges, opportunities and journeys. Jayne Anderson of Farmington, MO, began 2022 embarking on a journey of healing, rehabilitation and defying many odds with her strength and positive spirit following a massive stroke.
On January 4, Anderson was around several people who had contracted COVID-19 and had a mild cough herself, so she went to Walgreens to be tested. The test triggered a coughing spell, leaving Anderson lightheaded and weak. Anderson called her husband to pick her up in fear of passing out. Her husband took her to the hospital where several tests and basic triage revealed nothing out of the ordinary. Anderson decided to go home, take Tylenol and lie down. The next morning, Anderson’s husband woke her up with breakfast and checked on her at lunch but came home in the evening to find her unresponsive. An ambulance took her to St. Louis University Hospital, where they determined she had suffered a stroke. The team at St. Louis University Hospital performed an emergency craniectomy, but three days later, Anderson suffered another massive stroke on her left side, which led to her being put in a medically induced coma. The weeks that followed included multiple surgeries, infections and discovering her vocal cords were paralyzed, further complicating the healing process.
“When I had the stroke, the doctors at St. Louis University hospital did not think I would be able to utilize my right side, speak very clearly and told me I might have vision problems,” Anderson recalls. “For some reason, I had this determination I would defy their odds.” The journey to defy their odds began in Saint Francis Medical Center’s Inpatient Rehabilitation unit on March 1.
“The thing about Saint Francis is each person I encountered always met me with kindness and grace,” she recalls. “The whole staff was genuine, and it helped keep me motivated to follow through with my therapies and do my best.” Anderson would receive physical and occupational therapy, along with speech-language pathology under the direction of physiatrist, Heidi Hunter, MD. Her treatment plan included intensive therapy in the morning and afternoon to keep pushing her forward. “Even if I was tired or felt weak, the staff would motivate me and accommodate the therapy to how I was feeling while keeping me moving forward.”
As an office manager for the Department of Corrections Eastern Agent Training Center, Anderson was determined to achieve goals in therapy which would allow her to return to work. “They asked me about early retirement, but I told them I was not finished yet,” Anderson recalls. “My occupational therapist asked me one day what it is specifically I wanted to do, and I told her I wanted to be able to balance a checkbook, so we set little goals that allowed me to work towards achieving it.”
Anderson’s husband, Jim, praises the care for not only his wife, but their entire family. “We cannot say enough about Saint Francis,” he says. “They did very well taking care of everybody, giving us information and treating us with kindness and respect, which you do not find at some other facilities.”
Upon her departure from the hospital, the rehabilitation team worked diligently to make sure Anderson’s transition home was as smooth as possible. “They helped us get everything ready to leave the hospital and helped prepare for her return home. The way they handled everything was amazing,” Jim recalls.
It was a celebration on March 17 when Anderson was able to leave the Medical Center and return home. “We were in Inpatient Rehabilitation for almost three weeks; they did not expect me to leave so early,” Anderson recalls. “When I left, they gave me a mini parade with most of the team so they could say goodbye and wish me well in my transition home.”
After months of healing, therapy and exceeding her goals, Anderson was able to return to work part-time on September 1 and has slowly transitioned to full-time. She is grateful to the Inpatient Rehabilitation team for their dedication to get her back to her family at home and her career. “I am so grateful to the team I worked with because they were all so gracious, caring and sincere,” Anderson says. “Even though they were doing their job, it was how they did their job which made such an impact.”
As the leading Inpatient Rehabilitation facility in the region, Saint Francis Medical Center’s state-of-the-art, 23-bed unit offers comprehensive and coordinated programs in one convenient location for patients with cognitive, physical and functional deficits. Highly trained physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech language pathologists work with patients to improve health and achieve various levels of independence. For more information, call 573-331-5184.