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Losing hope not an option for quadruple amputee

CONTACT:
Beth Cranson
Media Relations
616.840.8215 – office
616.540.0813 – cell
beth.cranson@maryfreebed.com

Grand Rapids, Michigan – After contracting sepsis in December, 2013, Pam Buschle of Grand Rapids, Mich. lost her arms and her legs. Despite quadruple amputations, Pam’s sense of humor and can-do attitude never wavered. In May, She walked out of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital on two prosthetic legs and is planning to return to her job as a school social worker next month.

“Developing relationships is at the core of recovering from something this traumatic,” she said. “And now, being able to use my life to give back as much as possible to people who might have lost hope, that’s the opportunity I gained.”

Pam Buschle: Timeline of Events

Dec. 9, 2013: Pam rushed to hospital and diagnosed with sepsis following a routine surgery on Dec. 3, 2013.

Dec. 10, 2013: In order to save Pam’s life and keep her heart functioning, doctors administer medications to redirect blood flow to her vital organs, resulting in the loss of all four of her limbs.

Dec. 11, 2013: Last rites administered to Pam.

Jan. 24, 2014: Pam transferred out of  ICU.

Jan. 30, 2014: Pam discharged from hospital and transferred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

April 4, 2014: Pam takes her first steps on two prosthetic legs.

May 30, 2014: With the aid of a walker, Pam walks out of Mary Free Bed on two prosthetic legs (and a pair of stylish sandals). Her friends and family, many dressed in pink and wearing tiaras, cheer her on.

June 2, 2014: Pam begins therapy as a Mary Free Bed outpatient. She continues participating in two hours of therapy (physical and occupational) 3 or 4 days a week.

June 5, 2014: Pam visits children at Brookwood and Challenger elementaries in Kentwood Public Schools, where she has been a social worker for nearly 25 years.

June 27, 2014: Pam experiments with high-tech myoelectric hands with the hope that her insurance provider will approve them for her use.

Sept. 6, 2014: Proceeds from the Reeds Lake Triathlon/Duathlon, sponsored by the law firm of Rhoades McKee, will go to the Mary Free Bed Foundation in acknowledgment of the assistance, support and inspiration provided to Pam during her stay at Mary Free Bed.

September 2014: Pam plans to return to work on a part-time basis.

Media requests for video, sound bites and stills:
Contact Eric Miller, Mary Free Bed Photojournalist at eric.miller@maryfreebed.com
616.840.8230 – office
317.442.0328 – cell

About Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital – Mary Free Bed is a not-for-profit, nationally accredited, acute-care rehabilitation hospital. For more than 120 years, we have served the needs of children and adults – restoring hope and freedom through rehabilitation. The scope of rehabilitation services on the Mary Free Bed campus is not found anywhere else in Michigan: 80 acute-care inpatient beds, extensive outpatient programs and home-based services. The combination of comprehensive services and our exclusive focus on rehabilitation enables specialty physicians and staff to achieve outstanding clinical results. For additional information, visit www.maryfreebed.com.

 

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