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Divya’s journey from India for selective dorsal rhizotomy, rehabilitation highlights successful collaboration between Mary Free Bed, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital

Divya Harkema has a joy-filled smile that melts hearts and the power of love from a young mother intent on creating the best life for her daughter. Five-year-old Divya was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which affects her legs. She was living at Sarah’s Covenant Homes, an organization in Hyderabad, India, that provides group…
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Lila’s recovery from internal decapitation called miraculous

An August car crash near her Cedar Springs home left Lila DeLine with a life-threatening spinal cord injury. Essentially, she was internally decapitated when the force of the impact separated her skull from her spine, an injury that most often proves fatal. But Lila defied the odds. She was an inpatient at Spectrum Health for…
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Manage holiday stress with these simple tips

The holiday season can be equal parts joyful and stressful. From long to-do lists to strained family relationships and the desire to create the “perfect” holiday, we often put too much pressure on ourselves. When we feel stress, we increase our risk for stress-induced eating. Jessi Boehme, a registered dietitian at Mary Free Bed, has…
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‘Tis the season to holiday-proof your healthy eating goals

The holidays are a time to celebrate and enjoy family and friends. The season is filled with gatherings that feature festive meals and delectable treats – full of calories. But with a little planning, you can still enjoy yourself and stick to your wellness goals. Jessi Boehme, a registered dietitian at Mary Free Bed, offers…
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Gardening-as-therapy helps Betty bloom

Betty Wustman loves tending to the flowers at her Byron Center home … bountiful roses and hydrangeas, beautiful flowering baskets and beds, and a house full of African violets. “I love, love, love flowers,” said Betty, 74, who came to Mary Free Bed after being diagnosed with polymyositis, an uncommon condition that causes muscle weakness….
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Mary’s Therapy Playground provides a fun, healing space for youngest patients

A playground is a happy place where children can explore, learn and grow. At Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital, it’s also a haven for healing, hope and freedom. Mary’s Therapy Playground is a joyful new space where the hospital’s youngest patients can work on their rehabilitation goals in a safe, secure and accessible environment. The…
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