Success Stories

Carmelita Byrd

“Hello, I’m Carmelita Byrd, school counselor at McCarthy Teszler School, and I just want to share with you my experience of–let’s say, a health challenge–that I had a few years ago.

Let’s begin with the symptoms that I began to have in 2016. It was prior to December 2016 that I had some of these symptoms. They included weakness in my left arm, loss of strength in my left arm, slight tremors in my hand, and stiffness in my left arm as if my arm were frozen, and I could try everything to move it, but it just would not move. It was difficult for me to button my blouse, and when I began to feel a little soreness in my fingers, that’s when I decided, in December 2016, that I needed to go to the doctor. So I went to a neurologist here in Spartanburg. Based on my visible symptoms, my neurologist said it appeared to be dystonia, which is a movement disorder. However, he could not give a formal diagnosis until we did further tests. He went over those results with me:

  • Nerve ending tests: nothing glaring.
  • Blood work test: nothing glaring.
  • Spinal MRI: nothing at all.

But for the brain MRI, he did say that he needed to talk with me in another room. So with that said I was like, “uh oh, what is this?” He began to pull up on the computer screen a picture of my brain MRI, and that’s when he showed me that I had a brain tumor.

So my surgery was scheduled for June 23rd, 2017 at Emory Hospital in Atlanta. I was in the hospital at Emory for one week and I began seeing physical therapists, occupational therapists–everybody, I guess, with an “ist” at the end of their name came to see me during that week–and it was determined that I needed to be transferred somewhere for inpatient surgery.

So, I went to Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute, and my mom was there with me in the beginning. And so she met many of my therapists, occupational, physical therapists, and they just did a great job with me.

I think what helped though, is, I went there with certain things on my list about what I wanted to do and what I wanted to accomplish. At SRI, you need to have your own goals, what you want to accomplish, and the therapists help you to reach your own goals. It’s not goals that the therapists have, it’s goals that you set for yourself.

Also, I remember being in the kitchen at SRI where an assignment given to me was to follow instructions on the brownie box so that I could bake brownies. I actually baked brownies. Here at SRI, there is a facility that was a real kitchen. So that was really real life because that’s what I would have been doing at home. So they could see if I had certain skills that I still needed to learn and work on, or if I had mastered those skills. That’s the kind of work that they do here at SRI.

Lidia was the therapist who found a day that I could do some pool therapy. She actually got in the pool with me, and I was grateful for that because I felt that I could move a lot better just without a lot of effort. It just seemed like the water helped to guide me, so I loved being in the water.

Everybody here at SRI can help you meet your goals, but you have to determine what those goals are first. Basically, you are your car, and they are just the navigation system to help you to get where you need to go.

If you are not already familiar with SRI, I would encourage you to check them out because good things can happen to you from the good folks that are there.”

Read More

Brian McDonald

undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined

After suffering a stroke, Brian turned to SRI to help him regain his independence.

Brian McDonald, 55, was used to being a busy man. He worked full-time at Michelin as a mold assembly operator and owned a consignment shop. During his spare time, Brian enjoyed golf and seeking unique items for his store. But one November day, Brian’s world turned upside-down.

Visiting his mother, Brian noticed the right side of his body felt numb. “It was like it went to sleep,” he described of the sensation. Brian’s daughter, who works in the healthcare industry, recommended a visit to an urgent care facility. “From there, I was sent to Charlotte, NC, where I was diagnosed with an intraparenchymal hematoma.” This is when blood pools in the brain. Brian’s condition required a craniotomy.

“After surgery, I realized there were things I couldn’t do,” Brian recalled. “I never thought at 55 I would be in a situation where I couldn’t feed myself, bathe or go to the bathroom alone.”

For someone who lived such an active life, the sudden lack of independence proved challenging. But Brian wouldn’t allow this to be his new normal.

“After 30 days in the hospital, I was stable and ready for the next step,” Brian noted. The hospital recommended acute rehabilitation. “I knew about Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute from a family member,” said Brian. “The hospital was highly rated from friends and family, so it was an easy decision.”

Brian considers this to be a critical point in his road to recovery.

“Never did I expect what a good decision it was! Everyone from the front desk staff, dietary, nursing, therapy, and the guys that clean the floors were wonderful. There are people I remember from all areas of the hospital. They worked hard for me every day and I didn’t want to let them down.”

Brian certainly didn’t let anyone down. His hard work allowed him to discharge from inpatient rehab and return home.

But his work wasn’t done. Brian still had goals he wanted to achieve. “After I was released from the inpatient side they continued therapy on an outpatient basis,” Brian said. “I continued to get better and went back to work part-time 5 months later. Not only was I working, but doing normal activities again like cutting the grass and driving.”

“This experience reaffirmed my faith in God and people,” he continued. “Everyone at SRI contributed to my success and I am proud to share my experience.”

With Brian’s stroke in the rear-view mirror, he looks forward to living a healthier life. “In the future, I want to be more educated on my health and be proactive to stay healthy,” he said. “This was a wake-up call and I have reprioritized things in my life.”

Read More

Ruby Meadows

undefined undefined undefined undefined undefined

“Success for me was getting back to my home.”

Ruby Meadows is a retired, independent lady. She is a proud mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother to two little boys. Ruby was enjoying her family and loving life.

One night, coming home from Wednesday night supper at church, Ruby tripped and fell on her concrete steps. She sustained a scalp laceration and head injury. Although bleeding from her head, Ruby managed to find her keys and make it inside to call 9-1-1. Ruby spent nine days in the hospital, part of that time in ICU.

After Ruby was stabilized she transferred to Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute. On admission to SRI, Ruby needed help with eating, toileting, and dressing. Her balance was impaired and she needed maximum assistance with walking. Ruby spent two weeks in rehab.

Ruby and her son knew that SRI was the right choice for her rehab. Her husband had been a previous patient a few years prior.

From the day of admission, Ruby knew she wanted to do whatever it took to return to a “normal life.” She stated, “I could do everything before.”

There was no shortage of motivation for Ruby. “If they can do it, I can do it,” Ruby recalled thinking as she watched other patients in therapy. “The other patients motivated me. We were like family. The nurses and therapists were dedicated to my recovery, and in return, I wanted to do good for them.”

“I enjoyed everyone from the lady that helped me bathe the first day I arrived, to the friendly faces that served my food,” she added.

Ruby made great progress each day, culminating in her discharge home.

“The hospital staff lined up at the door and clapped the day I was discharged,” she remembered. “It made me feel special. The whole experience was wonderful!”

“The program was successful,” Ruby reflected on her time at SRI. “Success for me was getting back to my home. I live alone and wanted to be able to care for myself again. My plans for the future are spending quality time with my family. They are the most precious to me.”

Read More

Recognized Among Top 10% in the Nation

Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute has been named in the Top 10 percent of inpatient rehabilitation facilities in the United States for the 4th year in a row. The hospital’s care was cited as being as being patient-centered, effective, efficient and timely.

“We strive to deliver this higher level of care as our standard,” says Richard Schulz, CEO of Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute. “We have graciously been recognized as a top performing facility for many years now, but we never take it for granted. Our staff is exceptionally passionate about helping patients reach their full potential through the care we provide. We work daily to ensure patients are reaching their highest levels of ability and independence.”

Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute was ranked in the Top 10 percent from among 870 inpatient rehabilitation facilities nationwide by the Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR), a non-profit corporation that was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Education, National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. The UDSMR maintains the world’s largest database of rehabilitation outcomes.

“If you take into account that a national study has previously shown that inpatient rehabilitation facilities provide better long-term results for patients, being ranked at the top of that group validates the quality of care we provide,” says Dr. Timothy Murphree, Medical Director of Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute, referencing a study commissioned by the ARA Research Institute that showed patients treated in inpatient facilities experienced improved quality of life as compared to skilled nursing facilities.

“To provide the highest level of rehabilitative care available to our own community is truly rewarding,” Murphree says. “This means our family, friends, and colleagues don’t need to leave the area to receive this level of care.”

Through the UDSMR, Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute also will collaborate with peers throughout the nation to share information and establish best practices for patients. “This helps elevate rehabilitative care for everyone across the United States,” Murphree says.

Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute provides specialized rehabilitative services to patients who are recovering from or living with disabilities caused by injuries, illnesses, or chronic medical conditions. This includes, but is not limited to, strokes, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, orthopedic injuries, cerebral palsy, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease.

Read More