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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Stroke survivor counts down the days to returning home

January 29, 2021

Like many of us, the 2020 holidays looked different, but especially for Melody Keup.

After suffering a stroke on Nov. 20, 2020, the 64-year-old grandmother of North Platte, Nebraska, also lost her mother. “I missed Thanksgiving, Christmas, baking with my mom, and attending her funeral,” Melody said. “It all seems like a blur.”

Following surgery at Nebraska Medicine, Melody chose Madonna to fine tune her cognition. The decision arose from many discussions over the years with her husband, Louis. “I’d tell him, if anything ever happens to me and I need rehab, take me to Madonna.”

Hope appeared in the pages of the Madonna calendar hanging on the wall of her room at the Lincoln Campus. Stories of former patients who’d recovered from life-changing illness or injury. “I read every single one – they gave me inspiration,” Melody said, an elementary paraeducator for 29 years.

She marked off each day in anticipation of returning home to Louis and her family, especially her two granddaughters.

Jan. 9, 2021, was a red letter day – Melody walked out of Madonna. Making the trip home with her were two new Madonna calendars – one as a gift for her sister and another to hang in her kitchen.

Outpatient therapy continues to build on Melody’s post-stroke recovery with a goal of returning her to the classroom. “I love those kids,” she said.

Melody is already making grand plans for the 2021 holidays. “I’ll be the one making all the goodies in memory of my mom; she’ll be there in spirit.”

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