Finding a new normal

Stroke survivor Jessica Lode works with Kelly Roth, an occupational therapist with Madonna TherapyPlus, on improving the function of her left arm and hand using specialized technology like the Armeo Spring.

Jessica Lode was the perfect picture of health.

She was a new mom, an avid runner and an active member of the community. Yet, at just 33, Jessica suffered a stroke in December 2017 while at work. The stroke resulted in the loss of much of her movement on her left side. However, through hard work and determination along with the world-class care she received at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals-Omaha Campus, she made great gains and was able to return home in just 11 days. Since then she’s been working hard in Madonna’s TherapyPlus outpatient program to get herself back to work and to being a wife and mother again.

“I went from basically doing nothing to being able to wash dishes with my left hand, open doors and clip my baby in her car seat,” said Jessica .

During her inpatient stay, a big goal for Jessica was to take care of her children, including holding her 10-month-old daughter. Therapists tapped into that goal through the use of specialized technology like the Armeo Spring, which focuses on retraining arm and hand function through an on-screen virtual environment. Jessica was able to regain function in her left arm and hand as a result.

Another goal for Jessica was getting back to her active lifestyle with her family. Physical therapy focused on helping her regain balance using the Proprio machine and improving her endurance using the ICARE, developed by Madonna to help physically challenged individuals and those with chronic conditions regain or retain their walking ability and levels of physical fitness.

With the support of her husband, outpatient therapy incorporated her toddler into sessions in the simulated bedroom/nursery.

“Madonna has helped give me the support and confidence to get back to my role of being a mom,” said Jessica.

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