John and Linda Pincumbe plan to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in a big way this summer. The event will be quite a milestone, considering that an October 2013 car crash nearly killed them both.
After the accident, the Pincumbes spent 9 months in hospitals and rehabilitation centers before returning home to Schoolcraft last summer. For nearly 3 of those months, they were roommates at Mary Free Bed.
John, 71, had a brain injury and broken bones from shoulder to ankle. Linda, 70, also had a brain injury and serious injuries to her left leg. A year after the accident, doctors decided to amputate her lower leg. Linda is now adjusting to a prosthesis.
Through it all, Mary Free Bed helped the Pincumbes stay as positive and motivated as possible, they say. It was difficult — John says he was “ornery” at times — but worthwhile, both in terms of the function and independence the Pincumbes regained and the friendships they created.
“After we left Mary Free Bed, several therapists came to visit us. They brought chicken dinners from KFC and ate with us. Another time it was cinnamon rolls from a local bakery,” John says.
Now, when John and Linda return for a check-up or adjustment, they make sure to
visit the nurses and therapists who made such a difference in their lives.