Resident Spotlight: Susan McDaniel

Posted on: September 10th, 2013 by CORE Health Care Admin 1 Comment

Susan McDaniel, like many of us, was living a full and busy life, taking care of her children  and providing a great life for them. Last November, Susan’s life took a drastic turn.

Susan McDanielOne morning, she was found unresponsive and was taken to the hospital where she was treated for cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, hypoxic encephalopathy, aspiration pneumonia, seizures and dysphagia. Understandably, Susan’s family wasn’t prepared for any of this or the long recovery journey Susan faced.

When she arrived at CORE Health Care this March, Susan was using a wheelchair and could only tolerate it for three to four hours a day. She was at risk of falling and needed assistance with dressing and showering. She also had poor fine motor skills and poor hand-eye coordination. Susan had very little memory and needed helped in just about every area of her life, both cognitively and physically. Following a schedule was very difficult for Susan and she wasn’t aware of her deficits and why she was having such a hard time functioning.

With the help of a great family support system and the incredible team at CORE, Susan has been able to accomplish great things in our rehab program. During her time at CORE, Susan has worked with the teams in physical, occupational, speech and cognitive therapy. Most recently, Susan has been working on visual reasoning, sequencing, visual perceptual skills, upper-extremity coordination and cooking in occupational therapy. While she still needs a little help with cooking, Susan now needs only moderate cues for visual perceptual puzzles and functional tasks.

Susan also has responded well to video feedback and progressed from staring at the camera and being confused on topics to full eye contact with her peers with lots of follow-up feedback. She’s also able to write out answers now (she couldn’t write before because of motor planning deficits) and loves to do worksheets and play online games. Susan’s cognitive therapists also say that she’s making big gains in her ability to plan and carry out tasks and has greater awareness of her environment.

Susan’s balance, speed of reaction time, and coordination all have improved with physical therapy and she’s now able to consistently and independently use her watch and follow her schedule. She’s also much better at word finding and verbal fluency in conversations. In fact, when asked about which of her therapies she liked best, Susan quickly said that speech therapy was her favorite. She said she has much better communication skills than when she arrived at CORE and feels much more confident when having conversations.

We asked Susan how she felt about all that she’s accomplished while being at CORE.

“CORE is a godsend,” she said. “Everyone here has helped me so much. So many people have brain injuries and have no idea about the great care available at CORE.”

Everyone at CORE is very proud of the work that Susan has put in to accomplish so many of her goals. We’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be part of her healing from such a devastating event.

Congratulations Susan!

One Response

  1. jessica r says:

    Very proud of her progress! Core has an excellent team!!

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