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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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MFB patient, Pat Smith: “I just want to talk!”

by Jess Venlet On the first day of speech therapy at Mary Free Bed, Pat Smith knew her life would never be the same. Her speech therapist held picture cards in front of her, and asked her where she should go at night when she was tired. One of the pictures was of a bed,…
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“Measure the small successes,” says parent of brain injury patient

by Maureen McKenzie Lauren Culp, a 16-year-old from Fort Gratiot, was on vacation with her friends at a northern Michigan ski resort. At the end of the day on January 31, 2010, Lauren and her friends decided to go sledding. Trying to be safe, Lauren wore a helmet, but was going too fast to be…
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Staying positive with Maria Penland

by Jess Venlet Mary Free Bed launched a new advertising campaign June 1. This post is the first in a series of the rehabilitation and recovery stories of all the real Mary Free Bed patients featured in our new commercials and billboards. Just moments after I say, “Thank you, Maria. Bye.” and end our phone…
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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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Day at the playground ends in life-changing spinal cord injury

On a beautiful May day in 2009, Kate Clark and her 4-year-old Gwyneth packed a lunch and went to Kate’s son William’s school. While on the playground playing tag with her children and their schoolmates, a student standing on top of the slide jumped and landed on Kate. The boy’s elbow was shattered; Kate was paralyzed from the neck down. “I remember my sweet daughter…
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