Vanessa's Story

Spirits soar with each step in rehab

There was no 2015 Easter celebration for Vanessa Nabors. Driving to work in the early afternoon, a vehicle ran the yield sign, t-boning her car, sending it into a pole. 

“Emergency crews tried using the jaws-of-life, but couldn’t get to me.  They had to pull me out the passenger side of the car,” said Vanessa.

She was transferred to DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital where doctors did three surgeries to repair her shattered pelvis. She was bedridden and not able to move. Two weeks later, she was moved to DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM).

“I hadn’t gotten out of my bed in weeks.  At my first therapy session it took a whole hour just to get me in a wheelchair. Later that day, the hospital’s spiritual services came by my room and we prayed that I would move again. By the grace of God and some special therapists, the next day, I was in my wheelchair and doing therapy.”

Physical therapists worked on her range of motion, balance and standing, while occupational therapists showed her how to shower and dress. Vanessa says the progress was almost immediate which really lifted her spirits.

“My therapists were so motivational and enthusiastic.  I think it’s because they don’t just do the same routine with everyone. They would take me to play ping pong and basketball. We worked hard but we also had fun.”

A week and a half later, when Vanessa left RIM's inpatient unit, she could walk with a walker.  She continued her therapy as an outpatient two days a week and is now walking without an assistive device.

“Doctors told me it would be a year before I’d walk again. It’s taken me less than half that time. If it weren’t for the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, I think I would still be in that bed. They’re amazing."