It was the best experience I ever had at a hospital.
There are times when Nancy Phenix can't find where she put her cane. She doesn't need it much anymore.
It's a remarkable turn-around considering that just four months earlier she had spent a month in Borgess Medical Center after having a major stroke at her home in Coldwater. The 63-year-old retired Michigan State Police Officer credits a large part of her recovery to the skills and attitude of the staff at the Borgess Neuro Rehabilitation program.
"The therapy was intense but wonderful," said Phenix. "It was the best experience, all things considered, I ever had in a hospital."
Phenix, who lives alone, fell to the floor the day of the stroke, which paralyzed her left side, and couldn't get back up. "I scooted my body a little at a time from one end of the house to the other to get to the phone. I knew I could make it. I don't scare easily."
She called a neighbor who called for an ambulance. Taken to Coldwater Hospital she was transferred to Borgess where she was later moved to the Neuro Rehab unit.
"The staff at the Neuro Rehab program challenged me to the point where I'd say, 'You've got to be kidding.' They weren't kidding. Everyone on the floor was absolutely great. The care was perfect."
Phenix said that the rehabilitation included physical, occupational and recreational therapy. They had her do laundry and cook. "They knew I live alone and didn't want me to go home until I could do things for myself.
"I am so thankful to them."
Phenix said that she was able to drive short distances within a few months of returning home. She now offers her time for peer support to other stroke survivors.
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