All posts by Jason Glogau

Beverly Stoops

Beverly is grateful for the care she received at RHNI as she rehabilitated following surgery.

With her grandson playing out in the yard, Beverly Stoops decided to check on him. But, on her way over to look out a window, Beverly slipped on a throw rug and fell. Fortunately, Beverly’s son was already on the way to her house. He took her to Elkhart General Hospital, where Beverly underwent surgery.

Before she could safely return home, Beverly needed post-surgical rehabilitation to regain her independence, strength, and endurance. Her niece worked in the therapy department at Elkhart General Hospital and knew of a former coworker now employed as a clinical liaison at Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana. Beverly took her niece’s recommendation and admitted to RHNI for intensive rehabilitation.

Beverly is so grateful for her niece’s recommendation. “My stay was great! The team showed me they cared, and they would help as much as I wanted.” Mariah and Chris in the therapy department stood out to Beverly in particular. “They always wanted to be of help to me,” she stated. Beverly also noted that her mother was of influence, as Beverly remembers her mother having surgery and that her mother would never back away from help.

Beverly looks forward to seeing all her family and spending time with her two sons, seven grandkids, and 13 great-grandkids.

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Dora Sadler

Dora came to RHNI to regain her independence after a stroke

At 48 years old, Dora Sadler worked hard to control her high blood pressure. With a history of cerebrovascular accident, or CVA, in her family, Dora understood the importance of doing so.

One day, Dora began to feel off balance a few hours into her 12-hour shift at Lippert’s in Bristol. One of her coworkers called EMS, which transported Dora to Goshen Hospital.

At the hospital, Dora received news that she had suffered a mild stroke. Once stabilized, Dora returned home, only to suffer a second, more severe stroke two weeks later.

Dora returned to Goshen Hospital and met with a neurologist. Unfortunately, the neurologist didn’t think Dora would get much better. She experienced a burning sensation in her muscles on her left side, “very bad” shakes, and a stutter.

But Dora is a fiercely independent woman. “I did not want my family having the burden to care for me, and I wasn’t going to have to depend upon a wheelchair or walker,” Dora stated. “I needed intensive therapy!”

Dora decided to admit to Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana (RHNI) for her stroke recovery. She spent 16 days at the inpatient rehabilitation hospital and made significant progress.

“I am so glad for this place,” Dora stated. “I am not 100% prior to my stroke, but 110% from when it first happened. All the therapy helped me and put me on my way to making me better. They pushed me to what I could do.”

Dora wished to thank her speech therapists for making her feel better by talking slower, as the stroke significantly impacted Dora’s speech. “Speech therapy encouraged me. I am very proud to be where I am at today. It feels so good to be able to sit and talk and not be so tired due to my shakes.”

With an eye toward her next steps, the RHNI team worked with Dora to develop a plan and set her up for success. “Case management provided me a list of outside agencies that will come into my home and help me accomplish things the right and safe way,” she noted. Dora’s family also participated in family training at RHNI so they could safely help Dora at home. “Family training day was the first day my daughter came to see me as I didn’t want her to worry about me, and I wanted to walk to her.”

And that’s exactly what Dora did.

Dora would like to advise others, “don’t look to the bad. You will not see the good, and you must keep a positive attitude and keep moving forward.” Dora is looking forward to taking care of herself, walking around her house, playing with her granddaughter, fishing, and skating again.

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Dr. Michael Thomas

Dr. Thomas and his wife, Carole, had a wonderful experience at RHNI as he recovered from surgery on his spine.

Retired after 33 years as a urologist, Dr. Michael Thomas lives a very active life in Elkhart with his wife, Carole. Dr. Thomas particularly enjoys playing golf as a part of his social and physical life. But back problems left his future on the links in doubt.

Having previously had back surgery, Dr. Thomas again faced a decision whether to undergo elective surgery on his spine. “I knew I needed this procedure, as I didn’t want to be a couch potato,” he said. So Dr. Thomas decided to have an elective lumbar spondylosis surgery. Following the surgery, he required intensive inpatient rehabilitation.

While at Elkhart General Hospital, a clinical liaison spoke with the Thomases about rehabilitation and what it entails. Carole then toured the two inpatient rehabilitation hospitals in the area and decided upon Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana for the next phase of her husband’s recovery. “I liked how the parking lot is right out front of the hospital, how the hospital was very clean, and that it is a free-standing rehabilitation hospital,” she noted. Dr. Thomas also found comfort in knowing an employee at RHNI from their days working together at Elkhart General.

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Margaret Adams

Margaret Adams chose RHNI to help her regain her independence after back surgery

Margaret Adams and her husband, Robert, have built a life of which they are proud. They have four children and enjoy spending time with all their grandkids. Margaret attends church and loves taking care of her garden. A few years ago, she was diagnosed with lumbar myelopathy. This is an injury that occurs due to severe compression to the middle area of the spinal cord. Because of her condition, she couldn’t keep up with all the activities in her life.

After her lumbar surgery, Margaret’s family knew she needed to continue her recovery at a rehabilitation hospital. One of her daughters, Stacey Clay, is the unit secretary at Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana. Stacey knew that RHNI would keep her mother comfortable and provide her with a positive experience. She was hesitant at first, but her loving daughter was adamant about the great services they provide.

With God and family by her side, Margaret chose to be admitted to RHNI. Each day, she thought about her family to keep herself motivated. She worked hard with the staff to achieve her recovery goals. “The therapy staff really motivated my cognitive thinking, especially Beth and Allana.”

Margaret looks forward to getting back to the activities she enjoyed most, like gardening. “The grandkids are taking care of my flowers now, and they’re still green!” She also remains motivated to take care of her health. “God has been good to me, and I want to live a long and healthy life, to see my grandkids grow up and graduate.”

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Jerry Zaplinty

Losing your independence due to injury is never easy. That has been particularly true for 92-year-old Jerry Zaplinty. Jerry is a true family man, married 60 years with two children and two grandchildren. Jerry definitely enjoyed keeping busy! Though Jerry noticed that his mobility and balance seemed off, he ignored the signals his body was sending him. After enough time disregarding his symptoms and not utilizing adaptive equipment like a walker, Jerry found himself in the hospital.

After extensive testing, Jerry was diagnosed with subdural hematoma, a type of bleeding that occurs within the skull but outside the brain tissue. Working through a therapy program at another facility, he realized that it was not a good fit and was looking for more. He was referred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana by a family member. Jerry connected with Dr. Blendonohy, the medical director at RHNI, who explained how the rehabilitation process worked.

Jerry’s motivation comes from being able to gain back his independence, like talking and walking freely, and getting back to handling things around the house like finances, cleaning, and opening mail. He is very appreciative of RHNI’s generosity and the support from staff members including Rachel, Louie, Tiffany, and Chris who went above and beyond to support his recovery. He felt valued that the hospital CEO, John Day, took the time to get to know him. “He gave a firm handshake,” he noted.

Jerry also shared how special the staff made his last day. “The ‘Priority One’ was really touching,” he said. During a “Priority One,” all available staff line the hallway and clap for a patient as they discharge from the hospital on their last day.

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Kim Maybee

Kim Maybee prepares to discharge home from Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana

Kim Maybee prepares to discharge home from RHNI in time to spend Christmas at home with his family

Kim Maybee was always busy. For the last 27 years, Kim worked full-time as a supervisor at LyondellBasell. He spent his free time enjoying his swimming pool, working in his yard, going to car shows, and traveling to Indianapolis to watch drag racing.

That was before Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). Guillain-Barre syndrome is a rare neurological condition where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves.

For Kim, it began with two weeks in bed, followed by admission to a local acute care hospital. GBS took a major toll on Kim’s independence. While at the acute care hospital, Kim required assistance just to transfer from his bed to a chair.

As Kim and his family began to plan for discharge from the acute care hospital they spoke with Dr. Blendonohy. “Dr. B” suggested Kim consider a transfer to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana. Kim and his wife felt Dr. B was very sincere about the potential for improvement Kim could see from intensive inpatient rehabilitation. They chose to continue Kim’s recovery at RHNI. And they’re glad they did.

At RHNI, Kim made great progress in regaining his independence. He credits the staff for helping him achieve his goals. “Sarah and Jane have been great!” Kim said of his main therapists. He also recognized Louie, Cece, the nurses, and PCTs for being wonderful. “I have nothing but positive things to say about the staff,” he added, always saying to them “you are my angels.”

But above all, Kim credits his wife, Debbie, for helping him the most on his journey recovering from GBS. He said Debbie was his biggest supporter. He also noted that “God and all of the prayers have allowed me to make the progress I have made.”

Kim is excited to be able to walk again and independently complete his normal, daily activities. Kim stated that returning home with his family “is the best Christmas gift ever!”

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Robert Rogers

Robert Rogers chose RHNI to help him recover from a broken hip.

Before suffering a broken hip, Robert Rogers enjoyed an active life at the independent living facility where he resided. Robert’s daughter and granddaughter visited him frequently. He enjoyed watching westerns, driving around in his RAV4, and visiting Lake Michigan. He played golf two to three times per week and traveled to many courses, including his favorite, Pebble Beach.

After being treated for the hip fracture at Memorial Hospital, Robert needed rehabilitation. He heard about the Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana from the staff at Memorial. Robert’s daughter was determined to get her father the best care. Working with the case management team at Memorial, they chose RHNI.

Robert and his daughter are happy with their choice. “Everyone, everyone is very nice and is always happy to help,” he said of the staff at RHNI. He noted the impact physical therapy has made on his recovery, specifically thanking his therapists, Chris and Louie.

Each day, Robert drew on his desire to get back to life before the hip fracture. Robert continued to progress and looks forward to gaining enough strength to do things with his family again, which includes six grandkids and eight great-grandkids.

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Michelle Pyburn

Michelle Pyburn chose Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana for physical and occupational therapy.

Michelle Pyburn chose Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana for physical and occupational therapy.

In her own words, Michelle Pyburn “lived a pretty normal life” before her accident. “I worked all day and would go home after work. I was very independent and cared for myself,” Michelle noted.

After the accident, Michelle was unsure what the future held. “My sister…did lots of research as to what the next step in my recovery was going to be following the [short-term acute care] hospital.” Michelle’s sister began looking into rehabilitation hospitals in the area. When she found Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana, Michelle recalled watching the facility’s construction. “Ironically, I passed by this place several times while it was being built,” she said. “I wondered what type of building it was going to be. I never thought that I would be staying here, receiving therapy!”

But Michelle is glad she did. “I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t come here.”

Family would be the fuel for Michelle’s recovery. “They are what keeps me motivated,” she said. “I haven’t seen them in two months and miss them dearly.” Michelle’s mother and sister, in particular, played key roles. “They have helped me get through my most difficult days. Times that I have felt too tired to work, I think of them and push myself to get through it. They have supported and motivated me to get better.”

In addition to her family, Michelle drew on her faith. “God also motivates me,” she said. “He gave me a second chance.”

While working on her recovery at RHNI, two staff members made a significant impact on Michelle. “Louie and Rachel, they have encouraged me and motivated me during therapy. Rachel is so compassionate. Having lost the ability to move my arm has been the most difficult thing to cope with, so Rachel has worked the hardest in trying to get me back to normal.”

“I feel very blessed to be here,” Michelle shared. “I have learned and gained so much. Everyone is amazing, friendly, and humble, from the nursing staff to housekeeping to the kitchen staff.”

Though Michelle is grateful for her stay at RHNI, she looks forward to returning home. “I am excited to get back to work. I miss my co-workers very much. I miss my consumers a lot, too. I am very committed and dedicated to my job. Not having that face-to-face contact is not only hard on my consumers, but it is hard on me, as well.”

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Darlene Sibberson

When Darlene Sibberson suffered a stroke, her hobbies of cooking and writing came to a halt. Darlene was afraid she would not be able to write her name in cursive or enjoy her freedom of mobility anymore. When she knew she needed rehab, her family started researching facilities in town. They noticed that RHNI had great ratings. Darlene stated, “When I saw the ratings at your hospital, I knew I had to get a spot in there!”

Darlene finds herself continuously motivated by her progress in therapy. Throughout her entire stay, she has maintained an amazing attitude. “Accomplish something new in therapy every single day” was her motto. One of the staff members that helped keep Darlene’s spirits up was our physical therapist, Louie. Darlene noted how Louie would push her to reach her goals but was always patient when she needed it most.

Darlene is now able to write cursive again and has gained her independence back. She remains motivated to continue using the therapy techniques she learned at RHNI to keep her recovery going. Her husband, Frank, spoke about how nervous their family was in sending Darlene to rehab. But they are so thankful for how much progress she has made and what a great experience she had at RHNI.


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Laverne Molenda

Laverne Molenda sits in her room at Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana with a book and flowers from her husband, Ron

Laverne Molenda seeks to regain her strength and mobility at RHNI so she can get back to traveling

Before her fall, Laverne Molenda lived a full and pain-free life. Laverne spent her days reading, traveling with her husband, Ron, and visiting her grandchildren in Indianapolis. She particularly loved traveling to different vacation spots. Her travels included places as near as Michigan and as far as Europe.

Laverne and Ron heard about Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana from her physician, Dr. Afyouni. The Molendas trusted Dr. Afyouni’s opinion and expertise, choosing RHNI for Laverne’s recovery. They knew she would be in good hands and receive the rehabilitation she needed to return to her full life.
When asked who helped her the most through her journey, Laverne didn’t hesitate: “Ron!” Laverne’s husband has been very supportive and caring during her recovery. The role of loving supporter is one to which Ron has become accustomed. Two years ago, Laverne was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia. This chronic condition can cause simple stimulation, like brushing your teeth or putting on makeup, to trigger excruciating pain. Through it all, Ron has been right by Laverne’s side.
Laverne and Ron also credit her physical therapist, Louie, for his role in her recovery. “Louie is very good with her and her therapies,” Ron said. “He pushes her just enough to encourage her.” Louie and Laverne have been working on walking and balance. “Those are the areas she needed the most focus,” Ron stated. “Louie is very patient with her, and that’s very important to me.”
Laverne’s motivation is to simply get well. This is what pushes her daily to keep working toward recovery. Her goals are to walk again without any devices, get stronger, and have less pain. Every day at RHNI, Laverne gets closer to her goals.
Looking ahead, Laverne is excited to get back to her social life. She looks forward to going to lunch with her friends again, and traveling with Ron to visit family and see new sites!
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Leroy Vankirk

Leroy Vankirk chose RHNI to help him regain his independence after a complicated spine surgery.

After a difficult spinal surgery, Leroy Vankirk, 80, set a goal to return to his busy lifestyle. Leroy still works part-time at a manufacturing company that he owns in Michiana. He loves pheasant hunting, golfing, and spending holidays with his family.

Leroy realized he needed rehab to regain his independence. His daughter and wife helped research safe facilities. They decided they could trust Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana with his care.

Since admitting to RHNI, the details his therapists put into each session has impressed Leroy. Leroy mentioned that the small things have been a huge help and motivator to return home to his family. This includes relearning how to put shoes on safely, shower, and do basic daily activities. Leroy particularly recognized Kim, his respiratory therapist. “She has been a delight to work with and always has a smile on her face,” he said.

Leroy also spoke about how his wife of 44 years, Charlene, is his biggest motivator. Returning to her is what pushes him to work hard in therapy every day.

Leroy’s hard work and dedication to getting back home is what we’re all about here at RHNI!

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Gary Gabrich

Gary Gabrich discharges from RHNI after rehabbing from multiple fractures.

Before his accident, Gary Gabrich lived a very active life. Years ago, Gary and his wife, JoAnn, were in search of a new hobby to enjoy together. They found the Michiana Bicycle Association. The couple joined the club at age 50 and would ride up to 25 miles per trip. Now 78, Gary was still peddling away.

Deciding to challenge himself, Gary planned a 31-mile bike trip down to Potato Creek State Park. He ended up running into some unforeseen trouble on this new terrain, resulting in an accident. A passing car pulled over to assist Gary and called 9-1-1. EMS transported Gary to Memorial Hospital for evaluation. In the accident, Gary suffered fractures in his left leg and shattered his left elbow. After surgery to repair the injuries, Gary was in need of inpatient rehabilitation. He was referred to Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana (RHNI) to regain his highest possible level of function.

After hearing about RHNI from a family friend, Gary decided it was “the place to be.” He couldn’t be more pleased with that decision, having made great progress. Gary has increased his range of motion and gained back strength and endurance. “My rehab team is superb,” he said, with a special shout out to physical therapists, Louie and Chris. “And I love the food here,” Gary added.

Gary has some big goals still. He looks forward to returning home to cruise around in his restored 1985 Mercedes-Benz SL roadster. Gary spent the last ten months working on the roadster before his injuries. He also looks forward to spending time with family and friends, and enjoying another newfound hobby — “amateur genealogist.”


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Bernard “Bernie” Stinski

Bernie Stinski is congratulated during his discharge from RHNI

Bernie Stinki discharges from RHNI after rehabilitating from a stroke.

Bernard (Bernie) Stinski is a retired city worker and an avid musician. He spends his days playing guitar in his band Dragonlore, walking his dog at least two miles a day, and playing baseball. As Bernie put it, he was really just enjoying life until a recent health issue put his passion on hold.

The symptoms left Bernie extremely weak and falling asleep easily, but he blamed it on recent medication changes. A visit to the hospital revealed he had suffered a stroke. The diagnosis devastated Bernie and left him unsure of his future.

Bernie’s medical team determined he needed rehab. He was determined to return home independently and get back to enjoying his life. He chose Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana to help him reach his goals.

Bernie is motivated by his love for music and to always do the best he can. He appreciates all the staff at RHNI. The entire team made a positive impact on his recovery, but PT Louie stands out the most.

He is looking forward to returning to normal life with his Siberian Husky, Serena, and his neighbor, Carrie, who has been a Godsend.

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Danny Cook

Danny Cook stands in front of his house after discharging from Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana

Danny Cook came to Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana to regain his independence.

Danny Cook is a retired truck driver who turned his skills into a hobby and passion after retirement. Danny spends his days building relationships and transporting Ancilla College athletes to games and tournaments across the country. But a recent health issue put his passion on hold.

The symptoms left Danny alarmed and unsure of his future. He experienced extreme weakness and fatigue, difficulty walking, and trouble eating. A visit to a local emergency room provided a diagnosis. Danny was in acute renal failure.

Danny’s medical team determined he needed rehab. He confided in his family to help decide where to continue his recovery journey. They chose Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana.

“I’ve been motivated to go home so I can start working again and see my students,” Danny stated. “I’m lucky to be at RHNI and I’m so happy I chose this rehab.”

Danny credits the staff for having a major impact on his recovery. “Matt, one of the dietary team members, is so proud to work here. And it shows. I was not able to eat when I first came here because of my illness, so when I tasted the delicious food it almost made me cry.” Danny noted that the nursing and therapy teams kept him accountable for working hard and staying motivated during the toughest days.

“The CEO even came in and saw me every single day,” Danny added. “I sure am going to miss these people when I leave.”

Danny’s gratitude is apparent, and he remains motivated to continue getting stronger after discharge. He cannot wait to get back to traveling the country with his college athletes and spending time with his godson, Christopher.


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