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Dozens of St. Joseph Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation patients gather to celebrate Christmas

12/21/2012
Dozens of St. Joseph Hospital Inpatient Rehabilitation patients gather to celebrate Christmas

More than 50 past and present patients of St. Joseph Hospital's Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit gathered on Tuesday, December 11 to celebrate Christmas. Joined by Santa and in the presence of live music, patients and St. Joseph Hospital staff were able to take a break from rehabilitation to enjoy the Christmas season.

Every year, the rehab unit holds a holiday party for patients and their families. This event is a chance to reunite staff with former patients and to ring in the holidays with patients currently receiving rehabilitation services at the hospital. For staff and patients, the party is a great opportunity to reconnect, as many rehab employees develop relationships with patients after spending an average of two weeks helping them work through their struggles and challenges.

James Weseman, who goes by the name "Bronco," was a recent patient of the inpatient rehabilitation unit. He came to St. Joseph Hospital paralyzed in early December and was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. Bronco spent more than a week in inpatient rehab recovering from his illness. He was able to enjoy the Christmas party and thank the staff who he says gave him "superb and compassionate care." Bronco is now back home resting and building up his stamina. He expects to be back to 100 percent in another month.

Families are also involved with patients' treatments – rehab staff train family members how to care for their loved ones when they return home. More than 90 percent of rehab patients return to a home setting after being treated at St. Joseph Hospital. This is a huge accomplishment considering the fact that patients usually have serious conditions upon arrival, and part of the reason the unit is ranked in the top 3% of rehabs nationwide.

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