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.

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.

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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“While a building is a building, the staff makes it happen. They are outstanding, caring, and positive.”

From day one, Bob Taylor was impressed with the care he received at RHNI.

Dartboards and the first Olympic swimming pool may not have made it to South Bend without the help of Robert “Bob” Taylor. Bob enjoyed his many years of coaching high school sports and teaching Public Affairs to the students at Indiana University. As a former City Councilman of South Bend, IN, Bob likes connecting with people and staying active.

Bob uses a cane to help him get around. On Thanksgiving Day, he was helping his wife carry items from the garage and decided to use both of his hands. This decision resulted in a ground-level fall in which he sustained a right humeral fracture while impacting his head.

Over the next month, Bob became weak and experienced confusion. Then, one January day, Bob and his wife went to the Elkhart General emergency room. They admitted him to their ICU unit with a bilateral subdural hematoma. He later underwent a burr hole drainage procedure.

Ten days post-op, Bob arrived at Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana to begin intense therapy. His family chose RHNI as they have heard good things in the community. After only a day or two, Bob was already impressed with the team. He said, “While a building is a building, the staff makes it happen. They are outstanding, caring, and positive.” Everyone he met he liked and trusted them with his care.

During his 17 days at RHNI, Bob utilized the hospital’s therapy board in his room. It kept him updated and on track to meet his goals. He explained, “Inpatient rehabilitation is like no other! This is definitely the way to go.”

Bob looks forward to returning home with his wife, Nancy, and is very thankful for her unconditional support. Bob now truly understands what great care looks like!

“My 13-day stay at RHNI was nothing but awesome. From the food to the care, everything and everyone was spot on.”

In January, Brady August went for a routine checkup. During his visit, they found a small cancerous mass on his lung. He had it surgically removed at IU Health University Hospital. Shortly after his successful surgery, he went into advanced cardiac arrest. His heart stopped beating, and they had to use a defibrillator eight times.

In critical condition, Brady was bedridden for two weeks. His case manager at IU Health University Hospital spoke to Brady and his sisters and presented some continued care options. They chose Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana to complete intensive therapy to regain his strength.

Not familiar with rehabilitation, Brady didn’t know what to expect. He stated, “My 13-day stay at RHNI was nothing but awesome. From the food to the care, everything and everyone was spot on.”

Brady was extremely impressed with the team and the facility as well. “The new building is attractive, and this team really backs up the stunning appearance.” He attributes his success to the team at RHNI and said that his goals were their goals. He connected with his therapist Jane and said she was realistic, pushed him to achieve his goals, and kept him informed.

“Rehab was a positive, positive experience. Friend to friend, not professional to a client, is the feeling I received at RHNI.”

Brady’s strength has really improved, but he knows his endurance will take some time to build back up. He is looking forward to getting back to Reins of Life and being an advocate for the youth of South Bend.

“I felt so blessed with the unbelievable care I received.”

Joseph Steenbeke of Mishawaka, IN is an avid Belgium bowler. He spends his time on the St. Joseph River, where he enjoys the water and fishing. He also spends his days painting, woodworking, and reading the Bible.

In November, on his birthday, Joe had an appointment at the VA Hospital in Fort Wayne, IN. During this visit, he met with a pulmonologist who diagnosed Joe with a pulmonary embolism. After a few nights in the VA Hospital, they determined Joe needed intense therapy to return home safely. Case management placed a call to Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana, knowing it would be a perfect fit for Joe.

After ten days at RHNI, Joe returned home to his wife and family. Joe was initially scheduled to stay a few more days, but he quickly reached his goals allowing him to discharge ahead of schedule. Joe gives a lot of credit to his RHNI therapy team of Louie, Chris, Tara, and Becky. They gave him the motivation he needed to recover. He also received support from his nursing team, as Joe needed help showering and utilizing the bathroom. When describing the staff, Joe said, “They are all a part of my family.”

Joe stated, “I didn’t have one bad meal. I would place a smiley face on my empty plate so the kitchen would know I appreciate them. I loved every moment I was there and felt so blessed with the unbelievable care I received. On the day I left, they threw a party for me that will stay with me and my family all my life. My family was so impressed and appreciative.”

Joe has a planned Achilles surgery in late January 2022 and hopes to return to RHNI for his therapy.

“I’m going to walk out of here when it comes time for me to leave.”

Ezequiel Flores of Bremen, IN is a hard-working and dedicated family man with strong roots in his community. He worked in the foundry at Bremen Castings and performed heavy lifting and general maintenance.

In September, Ezequiel progressively felt weaker and weaker. This weakness led to a severe fall at work and a trip to the emergency department at Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center. They admitted him with an acute axonal variant of Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

After spending several weeks in the hospital, Ezequiel’s condition continued to deteriorate. While in the hospital, he suffered acute respiratory failure due to pneumonia and ascending paralysis of all four of his extremities. Once he stabilized, Ezequiel came to Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana for intensive therapy and rehabilitation.

Upon admission, Ezequiel couldn’t move his extremities without maximum effort. During his therapy evaluations, he stated his goal, “I’m going to walk out of here when it comes time for me to leave.”

Close to 28 days later, and just two days before Thanksgiving, Ezequiel did just that. Not only was his rehabilitation successful, but he walked out on discharge day only needing a single-point cane. Congratulations on a job well done, Ezequiel! Everyone at RHNI is so proud of you and your motivation to get better!

Carolyn White was inspired by her therapists to take her recovery one day at a time.

Carolyn White has been a caretaker to her husband since he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in his 50s. They love spending time with family, especially their grandchild and great-grandchild. In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys crocheting and knitting items for babies like sweaters and hats. She worked for Genesis as an assembler on and off for ten years until she had a stroke and aneurysm.

Quickly going from caretaker to patient, Carolyn found herself at a hospital in Chicago. Seeing her progress there, Carolyn’s family knew she needed extended care. Her daughter and husband toured a few different facilities. They ended up liking Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana the most and trusted the employees they met.

After 12 days at RHNI, Carolyn wanted to go home even though she had more to accomplish. Her care team talked her into staying a few more days. Carolyn explained, “I’m so glad I did! The last few days didn’t feel like therapy. Ashley and Mariah are very sweet girls. They came to my room and helped me with some of the things I still needed help with, like walking.” At times, recovery was frustrating for Carolyn when she didn’t see progress as fast as she wanted. Her family supported her through the difficult times. They gave her the motivation to keep pushing.

Carolyn’s care team helped her realize that recovery doesn’t happen overnight. They told her with time, patience, and hard work, she could accomplish her goals. Her speech therapist taught her to speak slow and easy. She said, “I learned that patients need to listen and pay attention, and they will make it out stronger. I don’t consider myself a success. I see myself as being grounded in hard work.”

Now in the comfort of her home, Carolyn looks forward to continuing her recovery. Her goal is to independently maneuver around her house. She’s been able to get up the stairs with help from her daughter and husband. She started outpatient therapy with RHNI with hopes to get even stronger. She also plans to join the stroke support group to hear other people’s stories and the struggles they faced.

Robert Swank has dealt with back issues since childhood. He avoided the problem, and when life got busy with his family, he learned to live with it. As a former football player, he enjoyed playing catch with his six kids. He also worked full-time as a forklift driver. Robert would find workarounds to mask his condition allowing him to function day-to-day.

As the pain started getting worse, it became harder to hide. Robert finally gave in and saw his doctor. The visit resulted in immediate surgery. Post-op, Robert knew that he would need continued care. His physicians recommended Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana. After learning more about RHNI’s intense therapy program, he decided it would be the best choice.

From the start, Robert’s family has been there for him. His mom offers emotional support, his fiancé, Erica, stays on top of details in his life, and his son hangs out at the hospital to lift his spirits. Another layer of support comes from the RHNI staff. He stated, “Mariah (OT), Ashley (PT), and Chris (PT) push me. They try new things and push me to my limit. With my football background, ‘I can’t’ and ‘no’ aren’t an option. I’m used to pushing.”

While in recovery, Robert stopped smoking and wants to continue avoiding it when he gets home. Aside from that, his main goal is to walk again. He feels that the more independent he can be, the less stress there is on his family. Being independent for him means going back to work and providing for his family. The thought of playing catch with his kids again brings a big smile to his face.

Stanley Mason is usually up by 6:00 a.m. and out the door by 7:00 a.m. on his way to his job working for Michigan City Schools. When he’s not working, he enjoys spending quality time with his wife, Andrea. They both enjoy watching movies and going to dinner. Their favorite spot is Kelsey’s Steakhouse where they are known by name.

After undergoing back surgery, Stanley knew he needed intense therapy to return to normal life. He wanted the best recovery and required dialysis. The hospital gave him several facilities to choose from and suggested that he visit with the SBO doctor who told him about Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana. They said, “RHNI is the best!”

Andrea looked into RHNI and found rave reviews and success stories. This research made them both confident in choosing RHNI for Stanley’s extended recovery. With the help of his wife, Stanley developed his recovery goals. His main goal was to be able to walk again. When he arrived at RHNI, Stanley’s therapists and nurses pushed him to work hard and supported his recovery through close care and attention.

“My nurse, Kelly, noticed sores on my feet. She noticed right away and paid personal attention to every detail of my care. Louis in therapy was a major player and all the staff has been a blessing,” Stanley shared.

Throughout his recovery, Stanley’s wife was consistently a source of strength. “She was my rock.” With all his support, Stanley worked hard at his recovery. He is now returning home excited to relax in his own space. He looks forward to spending time with Andrea without having her travel to visit him.