When Jeannette Shriver visited Greenville for her son’s college graduation in early May, she didn’t expect to be back in South Carolina again so soon, but she was: Her son got into a jet ski accident during Memorial Day weekend, and she traveled from Pennsylvania to be by his side during treatment. Here’s her story about Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital and what a difference The Peace House made during their journey.
Tyler had his car wreck in Spartanburg after just starting back to college. His mother and grandmother took turns sleeping in his room when he was transferred to Roger C Peace Rehabilitation Hospital (RCP), and his grandfather, Pops, relieved them during the day so they could get some real rest. Tyler participates in the outpatient brain injury program three days per week, and his grandparents, who live in Union, travel over 400 miles each week to transport him back and forth to therapies while his mom works. Pops says “it sure would have helped us then and now” to have a Peace House.
Allen Funk was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a neurological disorder in which the immune system attacks the nerves and can cause paralysis in hours. GBS is very rare, effecting only one or two people out of 100,000.
It began as a tingle in his feet and then spread. Over a two-day period, Allen would become paralyzed from the neck down.
The cause of Guillain-Barre is not known, but for many affected people it’s triggered by a respiratory infection or common flu virus. In most cases, GBS sufferers eventually make a full recovery but have a risk of relapse and loss of mobility or motor skills. In Allen’s case, a trip to Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital (RCP) was in order after 10 days in Intensive Care at Georgetown Hospital.
“The crew that worked with me at RCP went above and beyond. I always felt like I was the only patient they were working with,” Funk said.
Allen’s medical team included a neurophysiologist, recreational therapist, occupational therapist, physician, and physical therapist. His family and friends were also essential in his healing experience. Neighbors helped build a ramp for his wheelchair, and his family cared for him and encouraged him every step of the way. In addition to his continued therapy at RCP, Allen’s trainer at Keowee Key, David Dale, works with him to continue his recovery.
Allen Funk can now walk without assistance, and while he has some difficulty with a few everyday tasks, he considers himself fortunate.
“When I see my nurses and physicians and trainers, I know they saved my life,” he said. “How do you say thanks for that? The simplest blessings in life have a whole new meaning now.”
“If you are given a second chance, you think, is there a purpose? I think so. You have a very special opportunity to give back.”