If you are like many people who have experienced a catastrophic injury or illness, your stay in the acute care hospital or trauma center was punctuated by the thought "Thank God, I survived!" But now the long road of rehabilitation has begun, and it is totally new territory for you. There are so many questions, new things to learn, and decisions to make. You may be thinking "Great, I survived. Now what? What will the rest of my life look like?"
John Hockenberry, a well known author, radio news reporter and person with a spinal cord injury, has stated, rehabilitation is all about "what's next." To help you through the next few steps on your journey, it might be helpful to visit with someone who has experienced a similar injury or illness and has been through rehabilitation.
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital's Peer Volunteer Program matches individuals with disabilities with people who are just starting the process of rehabilitation for the purpose of sharing meaningful life experiences and providing hope for the future.
Peer Volunteers contribute in a number of ways, including:
Sharing information regarding the Madonna rehabilitation experience with individuals who are considering admission to Madonna, and/or their family members. They can answer questions about their day to day experiences from the perspective of the patient and/or family member.
Visiting individually with a patient and/or family member while they are an inpatient or outpatient at Madonna. Specially trained Peer Volunteers listen to your concerns, share their experiences, and provide encouragement and support.
Participating in support groups. Madonna hosts several support groups that involve members from the community as well as our patients. The groups provide education, support and social interaction with others who have had a similar injury or illness. Please see your social worker for the date and time of an appropriate support group meeting.