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Told he’d never walk again, Bob is back on his feet

For the second time that winter, Bob Dykstra and his friends jumped on their snowmobiles and shot into the woods. Always a fan of snow sports, Bob was eager to tear up the powder. They approached a hill that they’d gone over hundreds of times before. Bob flew over the pinnacle and instead of landing…
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Couple Stays Positive Through Life-Changing Events

It has been a rough journey for Hernan and Susan Murillo since moving to Grand Rapids in fall 2010. But their bright smiles and positive attitude would make you think otherwise. Shorty after their arrival to Michigan, Susan suffered a transient ischemic attack (TIA), also known as a mini-stroke. She was paralyzed for two weeks…
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Motivation during therapy: Returning to life without chronic pain

Research shows nearly everyone at some point in their lives will experience back pain that interferes with work, daily activities or recreation. In fact, back pain is the second most common reason people visit their doctor, and Americans spend $50 billion each year on this ailment. Carol Doubblestein experienced chronic back pain for more than…
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Baclofen pump helps two boys with severe spasticity

By Molly Cartwright Thirteen-year-old Kordell Rodrigues has cerebral palsy. Seven years ago, he suffered from such severe spasticity that his body was like a stiff board, according to his grandmother, Debra Rodrigues. Doctors recommended that Kordell have a baclofen pump surgically implanted into his abdomen to alleviate his spasticity. Debra said the decision to get…
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Girl born with gross motor skill delays learns to crawl, walk

By Molly Cartwright Emily Callahan, like any other 18-month-old, likes playing with her stuffed animals. A year ago, however, her mother, Heather Callahan, was worried that Emily wasn’t showing signs of physical development. Babies typically begin crawling between 6 and 10 months. By the time Emily was 6 months old, she hadn’t yet started rolling over….
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‘Good enough’ isn’t good enough for master pistol shooter

By Molly Cartwright After Larry Mennetti survived a hemorrhagic stroke, he was eager to get better, in spite of the hard work and determination required to get there. When he came to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, the entire right side of his body was unresponsive. He couldn’t sit up, walk or speak clearly. He…
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Truck driver finds relief from pain in the Return to Work Program

By Molly Cartwright Jay Bessey, an over-the-road truck driver, is used to driving 45 weeks out of the year. When injuries in 2009 and 2010 prevented him from working, Jay grew restless. He wouldn’t accept that he would never be able to do his job again. In 2009, Jay was at a truck stop when…
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Baby Sayla needed helmet for flat spot on head

“When I took Sayla to our physician for her four-month checkup, I questioned her head tilt and she had a bump on her forehead,” said Shanda Bender, Sayla’s mom. “My doctor said the bump was because of the flat spot on her head, and suggested I try repositioning techniques. At that point, we met with…
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11-year-old runner felt like she was breathing through a straw

by Kate Snider Last summer, Kaysey participated with Girls on the Run, but found it hard to keep breathing during her workout. As she was running, her throat felt like it was closing up. “It felt like I was breathing through a straw,” explained 11-year-old Kaysey Sterk. “I thought maybe it was asthma. I didn’t…
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