Parkinson's Disease Stories

Alexa's Story

Nov 16, 2021

“We looked both ways and then crossed the street. The next thing I knew, a bus hit me.”

Alexa Spehar enjoys living in her Detroit apartment – steps away from cafes, stores and activities. Crossing Woodward Avenue is part of her daily routine, but her walk on April 26, 2020, changed her life forever.


“I was with my fiancé, David. We looked both ways and then crossed the street. The next thing I knew, a bus hit me.”

Alexa was taken to DMC Receiving Hospital with multiple pelvic fractures, a ruptured bladder and extensive soft tissue damage on her upper legs. Surgery was performed immediately to fix her bladder and stabilize her pelvis with external rods.

“I went through numerous surgeries and could have no visitors for the first 6 weeks because of COVID. I felt so isolated and alone. Two months later, I was transferred to DMC Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM).”

The initial goal was for Alexa to sit up and transfer into a wheelchair. Physical and occupation therapists also worked with her on dressing and grooming. When she left one month later, she could do most daily tasks with minimal assistance.

“I worked so incredibly hard especially because my wedding was a week after being released. The day was perfect with my closest friends and family. I was seeing light at the end of the tunnel.”

Soon after her wedding, Alexa started outpatient rehab at RIM. Within a month, she took her first steps, and a month after that, she was walking with only a cane. Today, she’s back at work, walking unassisted, takes the stairs in her apartment building and has even gone rock climbing.

“I put my trust in RIM and they put theirs in me. They helped me through a lot of pain and pushed me to overcome so much. It’s amazing how far I’ve come, and I’m so proud of all I’ve accomplished.“