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Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals

The Madonna Difference: Hope and Healing

February 09, 2018

Madonna is rehabilitation. That’s all we do. That’s who we are.

Koby Truesdell experienced first-hand the Madonna difference after he suffered a spinal cord injury from a diving accident.

“Work hard and push through the pain sometimes. We can all make progress in our daily lives. Madonna’s a great place for that,” said Koby.

Beginning in 1958, Madonna has evolved into a multi-campus system with locations in Lincoln and Omaha. Each facility provides world-class rehabilitation and physical medicine services to children and adults across the country.

“It’s really nice when you have an injury or a disability to discover things you can do because you spend a lot of time realizing all the things you can’t do,” said Alex McKiernan, a spinal cord injury survivor and 2014 GOAL Awards recipient. “It’s another step of independence that you really lose a lot of independence with an injury like this.”  

Lori Hernandez watched as her 31-year-old son fought to regain his ability to walk and talk after a stroke.

 “How they treat people and the respect they give. It makes you feel like you’re not just another number,” said Lori. “You’re an actual human being with a family and they make you feel like you don’t have a care in the world other than getting better. And that’s what we’re here for so. We just want to thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!" said Lori.

Madonna specializes in five areas of expertise including brain trauma, spinal cord injury, stroke, pulmonary and neurological conditions and pediatric rehabilitation.

Mark Dugan’s 2-year-old daughter, Joyce, suffered a traumatic brain injury in an accident with a powered toy car.

 “Joyce has really come a long way. When we arrived, Joyce wasn’t able to lift her head, she wasn’t able to really speak very much, she wasn’t able to move her left arm, she wasn’t able to move her left leg,” said Mark. “Really pleased and blessed with what we found here at Madonna.”

Caring for the most medically complex patients, our team of clinical experts, led by a physician partner, map out each patient’s individual journey to recovery.

“There is nothing he cannot do, absolutely nothing he cannot do. I would say at this point in time my husband’s recovered 100 percent,” said Ruby Guthmiller, whose husband Rodney is back home after recovering from a fall that left him with a traumatic brain injury. “Yeah for Madonna. And he says it every single day.”

Colleen Brockmann says she is thankful her 17-year-old son, Andrew, is alive after a crash left him with a traumatic brain injury. She looked for recommendations for where to go for his rehabilitation.

“Mostly the SICU nurses telling us how awesome this place was and you know how they can make miracles happen and it was the only place that we wanted him to be. We knew it was the best place for him to get rehabilitated,” said Colleen.

James McGinnis was severely injured on a high school football field in Kansas. He would spend more than 7 months working to regain his highest level of independence, often times with physical therapist Scott Fandrich.

“One day Scott looked at James in the eyes and he said, ‘You’re going to have a great day today’ and that was the first day that he stood on his own. And on the way back, I asked him, I said, ‘How did you know?’ He goes, ‘I saw it in his eyes.’ That’s the experience of someone that’s been doing this over 10 years. They can see that and, almost a sixth sense to when he was going to have those moments,” said Pat, James’ father.

Through clinical expertise, innovative technologies and cutting-edge research, Madonna instills hope and healing, empowering patients to return back to their passion and life roles in their communities.

 “As I started slowly waking up, I was impressed with how much everybody cared. They didn’t just care about getting me out the door, they cared about getting me back to what I used to do,” said Gary Hausmann, a traumatic brain injury survivor and 2012 GOAL Awards recipient. “And it’s, I’m sorry but it’s really got a tender spot in my heart. It really does. Because they didn’t just want Gary Hausmann to be able to walk up a flight of stairs, they wanted me to walk up a flight of stairs to the hanger and that’s what I did.”

Angela Copeland’s son was brought to Madonna after a crash left him with a traumatic brain injury.

 “First day they come in and say ‘we’re going to walk’ and I was like sitting here going what? He’s not awake. How are you going to walk him?” said Angela.

“The amount of therapy that they got as quickly as he got as intensely as he got is absolutely the reason why he’s recovered as quickly as he has and he’s made extraordinary steps in his recovery. I would not have thought that he would be back at school this year,” said Dr. Sheilah Snyder.

Madonna continues to build on its regional and national reputation for providing quality rehabilitation programs and services. During fiscal year 2017 patients from 112 hospitals across 24 states came to Madonna.

 “Walking around the corner and she just walked to me and gave me this big hug. It was like, ‘Oh my gosh, she’s back.’ She’s walking; she’s doing all these things that she wasn’t supposed to be doing,” said Nikki Zitek-Svoboda. “And this excitement of, ‘Mom, I’m doing it.’ She was so excited like, ‘I’m doing this, Mom, all by myself.’”

Nikki’s daughter, Kallie was two years old when she was severely injured in a rural Nebraska crash and spent years undergoing therapy.  In 2016, she was honored with a GOAL Award.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so much better from when I was in the car accident. And now, I’m doing all these things that I couldn’t.” said Kallie.

Through partnerships with Children’s Hospital and Medical Center and Nebraska Medicine, we’re building a bright future and paving a way for the next generation of rehabilitation professionals.

Stroke survivor and 2016 GOAL Awards recipient Contessa Siders embodies that spirit of determination felt by many at Madonna.

“Fight. Fight where you’re at because tomorrow is a whole another day. Fight,” said Contessa Siders.

Click here to read more about each of the individuals featured above: