Operation outcome turns life upside down
“I can’t believe all that has happened to me because of an elective surgery. No doubt without DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) I would have ended up in a nursing home for the rest of my life,” says Kelli Kilduff.
After undergoing surgery at a local hospital to fuse a disc in her neck, Kelli woke up to find she was paralyzed from the neck down. She wasn’t too worried thinking her movement would return by the next morning, but it didn’t.
“That’s when I really started to panic. For the next three days I laid there, nothing was done. I was then transferred to another hospital where I had a second surgery to revise the first.”
After her second surgery, she developed a pulmonary embolism and blood clots in her legs. She spent a month in neuro ICU before being transferred to RIM.
“I couldn’t do anything. It was humiliating and embarrassing, I felt I had nothing left.”
At RIM, Kelli began to reclaim her life. By the time she was released, she was standing and using a walker.
“They’re my heroes at DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. When I first arrived my insurance company asked what can you do for her, she’s a quad. RIM fought so hard and got me coverage to continue therapy.”
Now a patient in the Center for Spinal Cord Recovery, Kelli uses her wheelchair less and less. She does short distances with a walker and braces and has returned to work as the manager of an urgent care facility.
“The RIM therapists are in your corner waiting for you to improve and they just won’t stop until you do. I’ve really met some amazing people and would really have missed out on knowing them had I not gone through this. There’s no doubt RIM saved my quality of life.”