First, there was anger.
I had gone into the hospital to relieve the pressure on my spine. When I came out of the anesthesia, I thought I was dreaming, that I had no legs. But it was not a dream. I had legs, but no feeling in them. I was paralyzed. The doctors told me that I would probably never walk again. I was livid—at the surgeons and at the situation.
They discharged me to Cooperstown Center, and I thought: They’re just sending me out to pasture, to live out my days in a wheelchair, with a blanket over my useless limbs and a television remote control in my hand. I would have no control whatsoever of my life.
The folks at Cooperstown Center disabused me of that notion really quick. Within a day, their team of healthcare professionals—nurses, physical therapists and social workers—had met with me, assessed my situation and my needs, and put a plan in place. Their mission became my mission: get me back on my feet and walking again.
At first, they needed a lift to get me out of bed, but Cooperstown Center has some remarkable high-tech rehab equipment that gave me a real lift. Sure, there were times when I was discouraged, but I always had plenty of cheerleaders—family members, church members, and a whole bunch of Cooperstown Center members. The thing about Cooperstown Center is that they are part of my community—and reaching out to my community was a vital part of my rehab.
My legs are coming back—and I’m back in control. The anger is gone, replaced by gratitude for all that Cooperstown Center has done for me.
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