Beyond Brain Injury

Maximize function and restore hope.

When Timothy Newton was moving from Colorado to Florida in May 2015, he wanted to take some personal items with him. While inspecting the vehicles before leaving, he had a minor accident that turned into a life-threatening experience.

Photo by Nerissa Johnson.

Timothy defied death after a serious run-in with
a 4X4 wooden beam.

“I was walking down the passenger side of my truck and the trailer,” elaborates the Missouri native. “As I turned the corner to go around the back, there was a twelve-foot four-by-four wooden beam sticking out of the trailer. I ran right into it, and it hit me in my forehead, across my nose and the side of my face.
“When it happened, I hit it hard enough I could feel myself going down to the ground. I wrapped my arms around that four-by-four to hold myself up, and I just stood there like that for about five minutes. Then everything cleared up, and I felt fine.”
This incident occurred on May 29th.. On June 24th, he was rushed to the local emergency room in a daze. The doctors there immediately transferred him to a larger hospital, where he was diagnosed with a slow-bleeding brain hemorrhage.
At the hospital, Timothy underwent emergency surgery to relieve the pressure of the blood on his brain and was placed into a coma. The doctors said his chances for survival were slim.
“The hemorrhage started when I hit that four-by-four, but it was such a slow bleed that it didn’t affect me until almost a month later,” states Timothy. “The doctors drilled a hole in the top of my head and put in a drainage tube. They told my wife to prepare for the worst because they didn’t expect me to live.
“But I defied death. That’s what the doctor told me,” Timothy recounts. “Unfortunately, I spent nearly a month in the hospital. I couldn’t walk, talk or feed myself.”
When deciding on a center for his rehabilitation, Timothy chose HealthSouth Treasure Coast Rehabilitation Hospital in Vero Beach. The hospital has a multidisciplinary program for rehabilitation following brain injury to help Timothy return to independence.
“HealthSouth was recommended to my wife,” he recounts. “She and my daughter went down to Vero Beach to check out the place and talk to the staff. They wanted to learn what they did for their patients and how they were different.
“My wife came back and told me the place was nice and they have a team dedicated to those with brain injuries that really helps those in their care. I arrived at HealthSouth on July 23rd.”

Personal Attention

Approximately 1.7 million people sustain brain injuries annually in the US. That number highlights the significant role of dedicated inpatient rehabilitation programs in the post-injury recovery period.
“At HealthSouth, we have a comprehensive brain injury rehabilitation program that encourages maximum recovery and restores hope to people with brain injuries,” notes Dawn Bucaj, RN, BSN, senior rehab liaison at the hospital.
“We use state-of-the-art technology and dedicated rehabilitation teams that work with patients one-on-one. The teams include physicians, physical and occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, rehabilitation nurses and case managers.”
As part of the program, the teams provide physical, cognitive and psychosocial therapies to help patients regain function, manage behavior and re-enter the community. The program is based on each patient’s individual needs and includes education on brain injury rehabilitation, emotional support to patients and their families, as well as training to adapt to long-term limitations, when applicable.
“When I first got to HealthSouth, I couldn’t even eat,” reveals Timothy. “They had to feed me through a tube. A week after I was at there, they sent me for a swallowing test, and the person who ran the test cleared me for solid foods.”
“Because HealthSouth is a hospital, the team is able to offer a higher level of care than rehabilitation centers and nursing homes,” explains Dawn.

“I swear by the therapists at HealthSouth. They don’t let up on you. They keep you working so you build your strength and improve.” – Timothy

“Our patients get daily physician visits, round-the-clock certified registered nursing care and experienced therapists to guide them toward their goals,” she elaborates. “They deserve that level of care, and HealthSouth is the only provider on the Treasure Coast who can provide it.
“Patients can be admitted from home if they have a chronic brain injury. Those with acute injuries typically come to us from a hospital. Either way, it’s important that patients and families ask for HealthSouth by name.”

Maximum Recovery

Timothy spent 21 days in the brain injury rehabilitation program at HealthSouth. He says he felt like a new man after that time. He credits the team that worked with him for his amazing recovery.
“I swear by the therapists at HealthSouth,” he marvels. “They don’t let up on you. They keep you working so you build your strength and improve. I gained all my strength back while I was there because of them.
“When I went into HealthSouth, I wasn’t walking, and I couldn’t talk or feed myself. When I came out of there three weeks later, I could talk, walk and do other things to care for myself. By early October, I was out with my wife looking to buy a boat and flying to visit family.
“I recommend HealthSouth Treasure Coast Rehabilitation Hospital and its brain injury rehabilitation program in a heartbeat,” he adds. “They really address their patients’ needs. They push their patients to take care of them!”

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