Editor’s note: As part of our holiday campaign, Mary Free Bed is asking former patients to tell us about their rehabilitation experience. What follows is one of those stories
My name is Benjamin Hoffman and I was a patient at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in January, 2013.
In December, 2012, I was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the nerves in the arms and legs.
I was in the critical care unit at Mercy Health Saint Mary’s Hospital for three weeks, on a ventilator for about eight days, and had a tracheostomy and a feeding tube.
Mary Free Bed not only helped me with the physical aspects of the disorder, but other aspects, too. The day I was to be transferred to MFB I was informed that my employer had notified my health insurance provider that I was not working and, therefore, not able to pay the insurance premiums. I was dropped from my health insurance coverage. MFB agreed to pay the COBRA premiums so I could be transferred. I’m not sure where I would have ended up if that had not happened.
I was transferred to MFB on January 7. Everyone – the people who transported me, the nurses, the occupational and physical therapists, and even the people in nutrition – was excellent.
Rehab was definitely a lot of work. There were many mornings I woke up thinking, “Ugh, do I have to go downstairs?!” But the day I took my first steps after being bed-ridden for more than a month is one I will never forget.
I can’t remember everyone’s name. There were a whole lot of people who helped me. But I would like to say to everyone: Thank you again for helping me get back on my feet (pun intended).
I would most definitely recommend the facility to anyone who needs rehabilitation. I cannot wait to see the new facility once construction is complete.
Guest blog written by: Benjamin Hoffman