Omaha stroke survivor adopts ‘no pain no gain’ mantra for kids

Omaha stroke survivor adopts ‘no pain no gain’ mantra for kids
Darnisha "Dar" Ladd gets help relearning proper walking form with the help of Kristen Mutke, PT, and Raquel Rathwell, PTA, on the EksoGT robotic exoskeleton.


"There’s no such thing as no pain no gain in therapy," said Darnisha Ladd, a stroke survivor.

Darnisha Ladd who goes by "Dar" pushes through the pain.

Relearning how to walk with the help of the exoskeleton. 

“Robotic machine that trains my body since I haven’t been walking so long in the rhythm  of walking," she explains. 

"One step at a time.”

This after a severe stroke July 31, 2017 left her unable to walk, talk and with weakness on her left side. 

Wearing her signature pink helmet …

“Pink is kind of a family color. My sister is a breast cancer survivor so we adopted this color as our family color," she says.

She’s pushing through the pain with every step she takes for her three kids.

“I need to get back to them and be strong for them. This has affected them to see me like this. And they want their mom back 100 percent, so that motivates me to do it for them,” she said.

Motivated by her family and her Madonna care team, Dar says specialized technology like the Ekso and the Lokomat has made going through rehab  possible. 

“Not to give up. You gotta keep trying. Even though I can’t do it right now doesn’t mean it’s not in me. Madonna has helped me by helping me see that my life is still fulfilling even though I had a stroke and I’m very limited, I have a promising road to full recovery and every day that I’m here I’m reminded of that,” she said.

Learn more about Madonna's comprehensive stroke program for both adults and children, which for Dar, included time in our acute inpatient level of care, followed by outpatient visits with Madonna TherapyPlus

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