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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

Stroke survivor driven to heal by partner’s health battle

June 02, 2020

Even amid changes to our normal operating procedures due to COVID-19, we want to highlight the success stories of our patients, including Steve Mizner. It was a long journey for Steve, after a stroke robbed the 37-year-old of his independence in early January. He came to Madonna’s Omaha Campus to get back to being a father and provider for his family. Steve’s recovery journey was further complicated by his longtime partner’s own cancer battle. Despite the obstacles, the couple, along with their two kids, persevered and leaned on each other for support. Now Steve’s long journey has led him back home, where he’s surrounded by loved ones and continues to gain strength to get back to work.

Steve spent 11 days recovering in the intensive care unit at UnityPoint Health in Sioux City, Iowa, before transferring to Omaha to begin his rehabilitation. Steve had lost the ability to use his left side, so his care team worked daily to help him regain strength in his arms and legs. During Steve’s journey to health his partner of 16-years, Shandy Grant, was battling health issues of her own.  

“I was diagnosed on Aug. 8, 2019 with colon cancer stage 4. It had metastasized to my liver. My cancer treatment included 12 rounds of chemo,” Shandy said, wiping away tears. “During this time, although Steve worked largely out of town, he immediately stepped up, making sure he could be here for the kids.”

The kids, 12-year-old Axston and Adalynn 10, became mom’s little helpers, taking care of her and keeping up with chores.

“I asked her if she needed something or if she needs anything done around the house,” Axston recalls.

“I helped feed the dogs and if she needed something done like Axston.” Adalynn adds.

Steve says witnessing Shandy’s determination and courage during her fight is what’s driving his own healing.

“She didn’t quit or give up, so I’m not going to either. It gives me the drive to do the best so that’s what I’ve been doing,” Steve said.

Steve made huge progress in mere weeks including walking hundreds of feet. By late April Steve was back home and starting to drive again and looking forward to getting back on the job as a pipefitter.

“I couldn’t really walk and I can walk now. I couldn’t do anything with my left side and I can move my arm again. I can move my leg. Biggest deal is I can walk again,” Steve said.

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