Acknowledgements from 2003
The folks at the Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center helped me get back into
the world. They deserve so much credit and receive so little - the least I can do is
acknowledge some of them here. Doctors, nurses, PTs, OTs, technicians and managers all worked as a team.
Their kind care, dedication and effort that extended far beyond their job requirements
made them special to me for life. They are responsible for providing the physical and mental
environment that enabled me to learn to live again.
Dennis Clark, creator of HowToAdapt.com, May, 2003
Al Kaye is one of my heroes. He is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), Clinical Specialist, and is the PNRC Brain Injury Program Coordinator. He spends countless extra hours working with patients and ex-patients. He is the creator of the Patricia Neal Innovative Recreation Cooperative
which provides over thirty-five Clinics per year for challenged individuals so they can
try recreational activities such as water skiing, snow skiing, golf, kayaking,
SCUBA diving and even climbing an Alpine tower - free of charge.
He's an incredible, caring and giving person.
Amy is a physical therapist. For six months she brightened my day, physically strengthened
my muscles and taught me skills starting with learning how to roll over on an
exercise mat and progressed to skills like righting myself while lying
on my back in a wheelchair. (I'm still amazed that it can be done.) Amy's
demeanor and loving care eased my pain when I was hurting badly.
But then, she does that for all of her patients.
I Thank you, Amy. I do.
Beth is an occupational therapist. She taught me many basic life skills that I took for
granted as an able-bodied individual; skills that can be quite challenging from a wheelchair. She taught
them with constant, calm grace and good humor which I did not always deserve.
Thank you so much, Beth.
Tricia is a physical therapist. She taught me how to walk using leg braces. We walked many
miles in the halls and corridors of the hospital.
Tricia, thanks for putting up with me.
Dr. Hecht was the primary physician in charge of my rehabilitation.
He shaped the therapy teams and encouraged a holistic approach to patient care. I think the high calibre
and caring nature of the PNRC is due to his leadership over the past years.
Thank you for your Patient indulgence, Dr. Hecht.
Evelyn is a speech pathologist. I think she suspected I was a little daft. She gave me a battery of tests to learn how hard I had hit my head. I think those tests had something to do with memory retention and comprehension but I can't remember for certain. She told me at the time. but that was more than two days ago.
Jennifer is a Senior CTRS who works with Al Kaye. She evaluates
patients and then enhances their overall functioning and quality of life through recreational
therapy. It's a rather dry way of saying that Jennifer's personality brightens every room she enters.
Thank you, Jennifer for bringing light into so many people's lives.
Kristy is an occupational therapist. Since her birthday is on the same day as mine,
although she's much younger than me, I thought she was my birthday gift, but her
husband disagreed. The knowledge she gave me though, was a wonderful gift.
Thank you Kristy.
Susie is a psychologist. She kept me in line when I fell in love with each of the
absolutely wonderful therapists. Well, I didn't fall in love with the male therapists,
although they were as good as the ladies. Susie didn't know that I fell in love with
her too, though.
Hugs and a smile to you, Susie.
Charles VanArk is one of three life-long friends I have had since about fifth grade. After my accident
he stayed in our home and modified the bathroom, widened door frames, harangued the contractors
and helped in ways I can never hope to repay.
He's beyond a friend - he's family.
Last, and most importantly, there's Betsy, my wife. The accident that left me paralyzed from the waist
down hurt her more than it did me. My psychological wounds have healed. Hers go deeper
and only time will heal them. While I was pleasantly floating through neon-colored
drug induced halluciations Betsy did not know whether I would live or die. I didn't
learn what she went through for months. She spent twenty-four hours a day by my
side in the hospital and in rehab. She spent twelve hours a day at home taking care of the insurance,
bills, house work, friends and guests, communications, and even found time to work at her normal job once
in a while. And yes, that really does add up to a 36 hour day.
Betsy stayed with me through everything. Words cannot pay adequate tribute.
I love you Betsy.