Rehab Success Story

In March of 2012, Wilma M. tripped and hit her head on concrete steps. She was diagnosed with a mild brain injury. In April, Wilma’s neurologist referred her to Marlton Rehabilitation Hospital for Out-Patient Therapy to treat: difficulty reading, balance impairment, chronic headaches, poor concentration and vertigo. Wilma was noted to have decreased eye tracking, impaired balance, and difficulty turning her head due to tightness and an onset of vertigo. Wilma’s goal was to resume social activities and return to work, which involved concentration, reading and responding to emails and planning schedules on the computer. Normally a very active person, this injury suddenly halted Wilma from completing the simplest of tasks and severely impacted her ability to be out in public. She became more sensitive to external stimuli such as lighting, bright colors and noise causing her to seek out a quiet and dark room to help suppress her symptoms. Just 5 minutes of reading would produce a debilitating headache. Her program focused on eye stabilization exercises, gentle stretching to increase her neck range of motion and static balance exercises. After a month of therapy, Wilma was able to start reading for 20 minutes without provoking symptoms and visiting friends at home. Over the course of her 2nd month of therapy, Wilma gradually increased time out in the community, from going to quiet, dim lit places to more congested and brightly lit places. Her balance greatly improved with tasks that challenged her concentration and coordination. By June, Wilma returned to work, resumed her normal social activities and was reading without limitations. Wilma credits Marlton Rehabilitation Hospital’s Out-Patient therapy program for her remarkable recovery.

“In March, 2012, I tripped and fell backward hitting my head on concrete. There was no bleeding or fracture, but I had trouble with balance, walking, eyesight, and sound. They said it was a mild brain injury. A normally active person, I was happy lying down in a quiet, darkened room. Marlton’s Out-Patient Rehabilitation program was recommended and Darcy was my therapist. She was amazing! The exercises I learned totally in􀃸uenced my quick recovery. After a lot of work, I recovered my independence. I’m very thankful and excited to get back to reading, traveling, cooking, gardening… EVERYTHING – even my vocabulary and the ability to put words together properly. My plans are to maintain the person I’ve always been – a people-person with a positive outlook on life and ability to maintain my speech, eyesight, physical and mental abilities.”

– Wilma Messler, July 2013