Sentara Day Rehab Patient Survives Lethal Blood Infection
Norfolk, VA (July 15, 2010) –Almost exactly one year ago, then 35-year-old Jackie Richard was lying in a nursing home bed in Mobile, Alabama awaiting a ride from her sister, not even able to sit up by herself.
It was a trip to a Mobile hospital in 2009, where Jackie expected to be treated for a simple stomach ache that changed her life. Instead she went into a two-week coma and blackout lasting nearly two full months.
When Jackie awoke, she realized doctors took drastic measures to save her life from a blood infection known as sepsis that caused vital organs in her body to shut down. Both of her hands and legs below the knee were amputated to help save her life.
Now nearly a thousand miles and a year later, Jackie is still getting acquainted with her new legs and myoelectric hands which respond to the faintest muscle contractions of nearby muscles. After 14 surgeries, countless fittings, and dozens of therapy sessions, Jackie is walking and carrying out daily activities.
“My sister rescued me,” says Jackie Richard who now lives in her sister’s Norfolk home. Jackie is thankful to have such a selfless sister who is currently working in Iraq, and she appreciates the kindness of roommates who graciously accommodate her.
Once in Hampton Roads, Jackie began daily therapy at Sentara Day Rehabilitation Unit, one of the state’s only facilities to offer intensive day therapy. Patients return home in evenings to rejoin their families and to practice what they’ve learned.
“This experience hasn’t changed me completely. I’m still happy-go-lucky,” says Jackie. “I know eventually I’ll be where I want to be, because I’m making that choice,” she continues.
But Jackie is fiercely independent and is diligently working to regain her self reliance. With an eye on the road and being able to drive again, Jackie is determined to get her life back. Her attitude helps.
“I never want to be a burden to anyone. Through my experience, I want to give others hope for a satisfying future and love of life,” Jackie says.
It’s no surprise that Jackie practiced cooking for other rehab patients. Cooking is her passion. She’d been immersed in a 10-year restaurant career before this life change. Jackie hopes to find a way to express her love of cooking in the future.
See Jackie Richard’s progress on YouTube:
-Jackie stocks the frig: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkkiSV4Bcbw
-Jackie pours water: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VdY8A4nyw_U
-Sentara Rehabilitation Network
-Sentara Day Rehabilitation Program
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