When Life Brings New Challenges: A Rehabilitation Patient’s Story

Emory Rehabilitation HospitalPrior to April 2011, I was working as a records and document specialist for Fulton County, in addition to taking courses to become a special education teacher. I was also facing the challenge of being a single parent of two beautiful boys, a 9 year old and 6 year old.

It was in April 2011 that I was diagnosed with nonspecific encephalitis. After several weeks at another facility, I was transferred to Emory’s rehabilitation hospital. I underwent intensive rehab as an inpatient, and when I was strong enough, returned to Emory’s outpatient rehab program.

The Outpatient rehab program provides a continuity of treatment and long-term follow-up with physical, occupational and speech therapists, along with Emory’s physicians and other rehabilitation specialists. After a lot of hard work and several months of therapy, I was released in December 2011 with positive projections. However, by the end of February 2012, I had a setback and found myself in the hospital again.

A month later, the decision was made by my mother and the doctors to take me off all medications so that I could have an unobstructed brain biopsy. During this time my condition worsened and I was eventually placed on a feeding tube and became non-responsive.

Finally, I was able to have the biopsy and remained at the hospital a month because of various complications. Upon release I went into a nursing home, and after several weeks, I was able to go home and started home-based therapy. Once I was strong enough, I returned to Emory’s outpatient rehab program where the real progress began.

I improved there because of the dedication of the therapists who pushed me even when I resisted. By the time I left Emory in December I was able to bear weight on my legs and use a walker.

Since leaving Emory, I am now able to walk again independently. I do continue outpatient therapy for additional speech and physical therapy. I have had my challenges and struggles in taking care of myself and my 2 boys, but I never gave up. My boys have had to handle a lot over the past 2 years. My mom and family have been there through it all and I am very grateful.

I am also very grateful to all the Emory rehabilitation therapists, physicians and staff for not giving up on me and for their ever present encouragement.

Remember, Never Give Up!

Michaela Glover

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