Keep on smiling, Tim Gerber

Stroke
madonna rehabilitation hospital health care tim gerber barbara gerber brain aneurysm
Tim Gerber shows a smile during this physical therapy session at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital, but there was a period when that was difficult for him.

“I hadn’t seen his smile for such a long time and he has such a beautiful smile,” said his wife, Barbara Gerber.

Tim underwent multiple surgeries after doctors found bleeding in his brain from a ruptured aneurysm.

“We came over here after a month of being at Iowa City. At that point in time, Tim’s physical condition was that he couldn’t hardly hold up his head,” Barbara recalled.

“From very early on, he wasn’t as active. He wasn’t able to move like he normally was, wasn’t walking, that kind of thing,” described Brittany Martin, a registered nurse who often cared for Tim.

That’s when Tim got to work.

“Everybody tries to help you out as much as they can and they know you’re in pain, but they know they can make you better. So you just have to listen to them and work your tail off,” he said.

And he started to improve.

“I came into work one day and he was standing in his room and I just was in shock. I couldn’t believe he was standing there with the therapist because before, he was very hard for us to stand. To give him directions to stand up was challenging for him at first,” said Kaylea Speckmann, a nurse aide.

As Barbara watched her husband go through rehabilitation, she saw his smile start to return.

“That was the first time that he really started smiling…” Barbara Gerber said, as she looked at a photo of Tim and their son together.

“He’s always positive. His smile can light up a room. Just strangers - He made friends with just about anyone and everyone in the hospital that walked by,” said Speckmann.

“We call Tim our miracle and now as he walks, he actually leads me and is able to walk,” said Barbara Gerber. “And five weeks ago, when he first arrived, I didn’t know whether my husband would ever walk again.”

“I’ve got a lot more work to do,” Tim adds.

Tim and Barbara have returned to their home in Lennox, Iowa, for outpatient therapy.

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