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Rehabilitation Archive

Transitional Care Team Helps Sandy Dyson Get Back on the Dance Floor

Posted on February 14th, 2014 by mayoclinic

If Proud Mary is playing, Sandy Dyson wants to be dancing. But last spring, it looked like Dyson’s dancing days might be behind her. After knee replacement surgery, the 71-year-old Kennebec, S.D., resident was in so much pain that just walking seemed like punishment.

Sandy and Dick Dyson

Sandy and Dick Dyson are back on the dance floor after rehab helped Sandy regain mobility after knee replacement.

Thanks to a “wickedly good team” of rehabilitation specialists in the Mayo Transitional Care program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca, however, she was back on the dance floor by winter.

The Transitional Care program provides a step between hospital and home for patients, who are supervised by physicians and receive daily care from nurses and therapists. A multidisciplinary team of providers sets up an individualized plan of care for each patient designed to get them back home as quickly as possible.

“Without their help I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Dyson.

When she arrived in Waseca three days after having surgery at Mayo Clinic, Dyson was in “excruciating” pain.

She understood that the pain she was experiencing wasn’t unusual immediately after knee replacement surgery, but Dyson was not happy about it. And not shy about letting people know it. But that didn’t scare staff away. Dyson says someone checked on her every 30 minutes the first week she arrived, always meeting her tears and frustration with kindness and encouragement. Read the rest of this entry »

Mark Gilbertson 2.0 – Putting the Pieces Together Again

Posted on October 4th, 2013 by mayoclinic

After a terrible accident left him barely alive and in need of major reconstruction, Mark Gilbertson found the right team at Mayo Clinic to help piece things back together again. He shares his story below.


Mark Gilbertson

My name is Mark Gilbertson, and here’s my story.

I am originally from Brainerd, Minn. I joined the Air Force following high school and retired in 2009 after 22 years of active duty as an aircraft mechanic. I now work for the Boeing Company as an aircraft mechanic at an air base in Hungary. My family and I have lived there for nearly four years.

On Dec. 19, 2012, some workers at the airbase were opening a large hangar door using a steel cable attached to the front of a large truck. The cable was stretched across the road. The weather was rainy, and it was a little dark. As I approached in my car, I did not see the cable, and struck it at about 29 MPH.  Read the rest of this entry »

Working Your Way Down and Out

Posted on November 27th, 2012 by Margaret Shepard

Chad HansonSince a serious car accident in 1998, Chad Hanson has learned a lot about goals and adaptations. As a patient in Mayo Clinic's Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Unit, he remembers the first time he was able to use the joystick on his wheelchair -- his fingers pushing the lever but not strong enough to pull back, his therapists standing close by, catching him before he hit the wall.

"It was great!" he laughs. "I didn't have much control that first time, but I told them by the end of the weekend I would be able to take my hand on and off the joy stick. And I did."

Chad broke his neck in the accident. "He was initially paralyzed from the neck down and required a ventilator to help him breathe," explains his physician, Jeffrey Strommen, M. D. "Over time his breathing improved to the point that he was able to get off the ventilator and transfer to the rehabilitation unit. His prognosis for recovery of walking was less than 3 percent but we hoped that he would at least gain some arm function to allow him to be more independent." Read the rest of this entry »

Finding Hope in Small Strides

Posted on September 29th, 2012 by makalajohnson

Since a devastating football injury, Chris Norton has taken steady steps toward recovery through determination, faith and a strong support network. Now, he's reaching out to help others with spinal-cord injuries. 

Chris Norton at Minnesota Twins game

On a Saturday, Oct. 16, 2010, while making a tackle in a Luther College football game, Chris Norton's life changed dramatically. It was clear right away that his injury was serious. On the field, he told coaches and trainers he couldn’t move, and he couldn't feel anything below his neck. Chris was transported to Winneshiek Medical Center in Decorah, Iowa, and from there, flown by helicopter to Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Physicians found that Chris had two broken vertebrae in his neck and compressed spinal cord. Initially, he had no movement from the neck down. But within 24 hours of the accident, there was a sign of hope. Chris was able to move his shoulder. That was below the injury site, and Chris and his family latched onto that sign.

Read the rest of this entry »

Injured At Birth

Posted on August 8th, 2012 by makalajohnson

Taylor Beauseau's parents are thrilled to see her up in arms after surgery to repair a damaged brachial plexus.

Taylor Beauseau's parents are thrilled to see her up in arms after surgery to repair a damaged brachial plexus.

Ironically, little Taylor Rose Beauseau experienced what will likely be the most severe injury of her life during her birth. While emerging through her mother's birth canal, her right shoulder became trapped, injuring the nerves that control her right arm.

In most cases of brachial plexus injury during birth, the nerves are stretched and infants develop use of their injured arm in a month or two. In Taylor's case, the nerves were severed and, even after several months, she couldn't move her right arm. "When she was six months old, she had surgery to repair the damage, but she still wasn't able to move her right arm," says Taylor's father, Jason Boso. The family was concerned that Taylor would never be able to use her right arm.

"As parents, we always want to make the best choices for our children," says Jason. "So on my birthday, I gave myself a special gift and called Mayo Clinic in Rochester to see if they would be willing to evaluate Taylor. We definitely needed a second opinion."

Read the rest of this entry »

New Device Helps Man Who ‘Forgets’ to Breathe

Posted on May 18th, 2012 by Stacy Theobald

David Vannausdle, his parents and Dr. ReevesHis whole life, David Vannausdle, 32, of Granger, Iowa, has been tethered to some type of breathing device for at least some part of the day or night. 

Without external assistance, his body “forgets” to breathe. He was born with congenital central hypoventilation syndrome, also referred to as Ondine’s curse. Essentially, the brain fails to signal the lungs to breathe. 

Read the rest of this entry »

Rehab Program Helps Texas Teen Learn to Manage Chronic Pain

Posted on May 9th, 2012 by Stacy Theobald

Austin HortonAustin Horton’s adolescence was dominated by pain. More than a dozen specialists — among them an orthopedist, rheumatologist, pain doctor, psychiatrist and acupuncturist — couldn’t offer much relief or even a definitive reason for the pain.

Read the rest of this entry »

Patient’s Valentine’s Day Engagement provides an Inspiring Example for Others

Posted on March 2nd, 2012 by makalajohnson

Amanda Mattheisen has endured chronic back pain since a car accident thirteen years ago. At times, the pain was so bad it controlled her life. Surgeries and drug treatments brought no relief.

Amanda Mattheisen and fiance ChuckEventually, Mattheisen turned to Mayo Clinic’s two-day Pain Rehabilitation Program, a program designed to help people whose pain cannot be cured to learn how to improve their lives despite the pain. Mattheisen arrived to the program on Feb. 13 with her boyfriend Charles Buggs along for support, and during a stretching exercise on the second day of the program, Mattheisen’s boyfriend became her fiancé.

Read the rest of this entry »

Chris Norton wins Courage in Sports Award!

Posted on November 16th, 2011 by makalajohnson

The below excerpts come from a USA Today article:

Chris Norton, a sophomore football player at Luther College (Decorah, Iowa) who suffered a catrostrophic injury in a game last year, received the 2011 CBS America's Choice Honor for "Courage in Sports" Sunday.

After suffering the injury, Norton was taken to the Mayo Clinic, where he says he has felt an amazing outpouring of love from those who worked around him. "Mayo has been unbelievable," said Norton. "The support they have given us, and the relationships I've been able to build with the therapists, doctors and nurses has been great. They're professionals, but they are also great friends."

To read the rest of the USA Today article, click here. The announcement came on CBS' The Early Show, where Chris and his family were interviewed and spoke of his remarkable recovery. Sports Illustrated also ran an article on Chris here.

Watch the Courage in Sports clip on Chris below.

Terry Norton, father of Chris Norton, spoke of his son's experience at a Mayo Clinic all staff meeting in October, 2011. In this inspirational message, Terry emphasized the hope that Mayo Clinic gave to Chris and his family.

Vote Now! Chris Norton Nominated for 2011 America’s Choice Honoree for Courage in Sports on CBS

Posted on September 19th, 2011 by makalajohnson

"Luther College football player Chris Norton has been nominated for the 2011 America’s Choice Honoree for Courage in Sports on CBS. Now in its 23rd year, Courage in Sports has recognized some of the world’s greatest and most inspirational athletes, such as Muhammed Ali, Alonzo Mourning, Kerri Strug and Walter Payton."

To read the rest of Chris' story, click here.

We actually had the opportunity to video interview Chris back in January.

To vote for Chris, click here.