"Where flowers bloom, so does hope." - Lady Bird Johnson | Sydney Redler, an aspiring artist, poses for a photo with her mother, Hayley Greenslade, and recreation therapist Jessie Eveland in front of the window where she practiced drawing a special Valentine's Day message.
Sydney Redler is baking cupcakes in the Independence Square kitchen for occupational therapy. It’s a long way from where the 19-year-old was a month earlier.
“We were told, not that night but days later, that they didn’t expect you to make it through the night…” said Sydney’s mother, Hayley Greenslade.
On the day after Christmas, Sydney’s car was rear-ended leaving her with a severe brain injury and she was flown to a Des Moines hospital. About two weeks later, she began rehabilitation at Madonna’s Omaha Campus with her boyfriend and mother there for support.
“The amount from when you got here to right now, the progress is like night and day. It’s unbelievable how much you came back because of this place,” said Chance Trewet.
In different therapies that kept her busy throughout the day, Physical Therapy, Rec Therapy, Aquatic Therapy and more, she worked hard.
“She made such significant improvements when she was here and you can tell once she left here she was still going to make improvement and that’s always great as a therapist to see. Your hard work paid off and her hard work paid off,” said Sydney’s speech therapist, Liz Rodgers.
Her rehab team recognized that spirit of determination the day she returned home, surprising her with a Spirit Award.
“I always tell our patients we are as good as your effort and so you’ve rehabilitated really well. We’re really proud of you,” said Lori Graham, a Madonna counselor.
Like this flower Sydney is drawing during recreational therapy, she herself has bloomed.
“Never give up,” said her mom. “Never give up!” she said in return.
Sydney's inspiring story was featuring in these news reports:
- Teen relearns how to walk, talk after crash (KETV)
- Atlantic family celebrates daughter's homecoming after 50 days recovering from car accident (KSOM 96.5FM)
- Area woman's hard work after accident is award-worthy (Atlantic News Telegraph)
- 'She's got her sass back': Teen relearns how to walk, talk after car crash (Stitch)
To learn more about Madonna's traumatic brain injury program, click here.