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Third time’s the charm for Megan Reynolds

Megan Reynolds is pleased to be a “repeat customer” at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital.

“I requested to come back here because it feels safe. I trust everyone here,” says Megan, who is 27 and lives in Hudsonville.

Last week, as she wrapped up her third stay as an inpatient, Megan spoke fondly of the medical professionals she has gotten to know and how important they have been to her recovery.

“The staff and therapists have such positive drive,” she says. “When I’m here I love that I’m surrounded by positive influences. That’s what Mary Free Bed is.”

Megan first visited Mary Free Bed in the fall of 2010, after she was injured in a car accident and spent a month in the intensive care unit at a Grand Rapids hospital. She stayed at Mary Free Bed for about two months but doesn’t remember much of it because she was being treated for a traumatic brain injury.

The accident also injured Megan’s spinal cord. She made a return visit in March, 2011 after spinal surgery to remove hardware that had caused an infection. And most recently, she spent a few weeks here after another surgery fused several vertebrae that had dislocated.

“My spine has gone from a spaghetti noodle to a board,” she says with a smile. “I can sit up longer now.”

Between her surgeries and therapy sessions, both inpatient and outpatient, Megan has worked on staying strong physically and emotionally. After the accident, she knew her career as a licensed cosmetologist was over because she had lost all feeling in her left hand. Megan also was paralyzed from her midsection down.

She still works at Sport Clips Haircuts in Grandville, but now as a part-time marketing manager where she plans events, coordinates advertising and promotes the business. Ultimately, she’d love to work in marketing for Mary Free Bed, she says, because she could lend her unique perspective as a patient – three times over.

Megan says the nurses, therapists and doctors have pushed her to succeed. And no matter where her career path leads, that’s just what she plans to do.

Megan’s story also has been featured in the Grand Rapids Press and in Modern Salon magazine.

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