Joyce Weaver – Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital Success Story
Simply moving had become almost impossible for Joyce Weaver, before a diagnosis and rehabilitation treatment brought her back from the brink of feeling almost like a paraplegic.
Last fall, she suspected that her rheumatoid arthritis (RA) had worsened, reaching a point where she had to take time off from her busy job in the Walmart receiving department in Cedar Hill.
"It really got bad, with pain and weakness in my hips and shoulders, arms and legs," says the 48-year-old mother. "I was barely able to move my legs and lift my arms."
One morning, she literally fell from bed and could not get up. Her teenage daughter called friends from their church, who took her to a hospital and cared for her at their home.
Just before Christmas, her doctor confirmed that RA was not the cause of her immobility and referred her to Methodist Dallas Medical Center. There, she had extensive testing and was ultimately sent to rehab to regain mobility.
Dancing for joy
"Good things started happening then," recalls Weaver, who pursued treatment at the Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital in Duncanville. "I stayed there, and two weeks later, I was able to walk out. I was only walking, but in my head, it felt like I was dancing!"
Neil Santos, rehab specialist, compliments her determination and commitment to the program – and the example she set for other patients.
"When we started helping her relearn how to walk with a walker, she constantly and willingly tried to take that extra step to build her strength and balance," he says. "Although she may not have noticed, her dedication to get better influenced and inspired other patients in the hospital to improve."
Rolling right along
At her low point, she could not get into a car and had to be fed by her daughter. But she's on her way to a new high, thanks to a course of treatment that has restored her active lifestyle.
"It's still a process, but I'm walking, working, and may try roller-skating again soon," she says.
She praises all of the independently practicing physicians on the medical staffs at Methodist Dallas and Methodist Charlton Medical Centers who helped her along her journey, including Gregg A. Shalan, MD, with the neuroscience center, who managed her care at Methodist Dallas; Peter J. Rappa, MD, who coordinated her care at Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital; Jyothsna Kodali, MD, nephrologist consulting at Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital; Charles Tuen, MD, neurologist with Methodist Charlton; and many others. Weaver also credits her team of rehab specialists: Neil Santos, Dana Bradley, Linda Ross-Robinson, and Seth Johns.
"I thought the treatment was wonderful," Weaver says. "I would like to thank God for putting these doctors, nurses, and therapists on my path. They did everything necessary to help me be healthy again."
From the summer 2012 edition of Shine magazine.
*Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital is an independent, legal entity separate from Methodist Health System, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, and Methodist Hospitals of Dallas.
Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System, Methodist Dallas Medical Center, Methodist Charlton Medical Center, Methodist Mansfield Medical Center, Methodist Richardson Medical Center, or any other affiliated institution.