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Ken Taylor recovers, regains strength at Mary Free Bed after spinal cord injury

Thomas “Ken” Taylor, 77, was working in a hilly part of his yard last spring when he lost his balance. He fell into a tree, which caused him to fracture is neck (C1 vertebrae).

Ken was immediately taken to the emergency room at Holland Hospital. After a few days in the hospital he was referred to Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, where he spent two weeks.

During a follow-up visit at Holland Hospital, doctors determined that he needed surgery to help his fracture heal properly. “There was no change in the break,” explains Ken, who had been wearing a collar to support his neck.

Dr. David W. Lowry, a neurological surgeon at the Brain + Spine Center, took bone out of Ken’s hip to help rebuild his neck. After the surgery, Ken returned to Mary Free Bed for two months of inpatient therapy. This time he was wearing a halo brace.

During his therapy, Ken worked on increasing his strength and balance. Using a stationary bicycle was one of Ken’s favorite parts of therapy. His significant other, Helen, also participated is his therapy so she knew what to expect when returning home.

“The facility is excellent and the people are extremely friendly and helpful,” Ken says. “I could not imagine a better place to recover and regain strength.”

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