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Struck by drunk driver, amputee prepares for Paralympics

by Kate Snider Melanie Johnson was riding her motorcycle to her nephew’s football game in September 2004 when she was struck by a drunk driver. The life-changing accident happened just 5 miles from home. “I knew it was really bad when I heard the helicopter,” Melanie said. “I remember thinking, if they had to call…
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Patient fights his way back after brain injury from ATV accident

“It was getting late and I started to worry,” says his wife, Tammy. “So I went to look for him.” A truck driver, Tom had parked his semi across the road by a neighbor’s house. “I figured he was there,” says Tammy. “Our neighbor saw that I was upset, and he and his dog came…
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Spinal cord injury patient embraces life

by Diane Teall Battle Creek native Mitchell Chapman, 17, embraces life, be it good or bad. He’s experienced his share of both this year. Mitch transferred to Mary Free Bed from Borgess this past fall after a severe car accident left him paralyzed from the waist down. He had lost control of his car and…
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Cerebral palsy patient shares MFB experience

In December 2008, Mary underwent major surgery at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital. During the eight-and-a-half hour operation, six of the bones in Mary’s legs were broken so that they could be repositioned using steel plates, releasing muscles and tendons. After spending four days in the hospital, Mary was sent home with her legs in casts….
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Stroke patient Sandra Boyce tells her story

The 51-year-old widow from Grand Rapids suffers from diabetes, so she thought that might be the problem. After she rested a bit, her arm went numb and her leg was tingling. “I called my sister and said that something was wrong, and I needed to go to the hospital,” Sandra recalls. Her sister brought her…
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“I was dropped off in heaven, and surrounded by angels.”

On a crisp Saturday in February 2009, 67-year-old Phil Stefanich gathered with friends at a cottage in Grayling to go cross-country skiing. “I was just skiing along, enjoying the scenery, when my skis got away from me,” Phil says. “I flipped up into the air, came down flat on my back and my head whiplashed.”…
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Patient recovering from gunshot wound recognized for efforts

By Stephanie Sundheimer Landon Whitaker has a lot to be happy about. He recently returned from a trip to Washington D.C. where President Obama congratulated the boy for his courage, willpower, and determination. But meeting the president is likely second on Landon’s list of things to be happy about. Landon, just 12 years old, was…
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Hairstylists Volunteer Talents

Over the past 6 months Mary Free Bed has been lucky enough to have a team of  hairstylists come in on a rotating basis to volunteer their time and talents to patients. They do a fantastic job at both hair and lifting the spirits of patients. “My daughter was in therapy at MFB when she…
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The earlier torticollis is treated, the better

Jasper Jacobson of Zeeland was born premature. After an extended stays in a neonatal unit his parents noticed Jasper preferred to have his head turned in a certain direction, which caused him to develop a flat spot on his head from lying in the same position for so long. Their pediatrician suggested Jasper’s parents take him to Mary Free Bed…
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