Nancy Kelley

“I was in perfect physical health,” Nancy Kelley said, reflecting on the days before her fall. Nancy lived alone and kept physically active. She did yoga five days per week, regular volunteer work, and loved to create things. Then, she fell, and everything changed.

“I went from being independent and active to not having any feeling in my arms and legs, all within 24 hours.”

“The day of the accident I had a fall, hitting my head and losing consciousness,” Nancy recalled. “I laid on the floor for hours unable to get up. My housekeeper came at one point and didn’t hear me, so she left and I continued to lay there. At 2 pm, my massage therapist came for our scheduled appointment. She heard my yelling and called for assistance.”

Nancy was transported to the hospital for evaluation and treatment. “I lost a week of my memory,” she shared. “I did not realize the severity of my accident. I just wanted to get up and get on my way to recovery. I couldn’t do anything for myself. I couldn’t even move my arms or legs, or use my hands.” She spent a week in the hospital, where she was diagnosed with a spinal cord injury and rhabdomyolysis. Rhabdomyolysis is a rare and life-threatening condition caused by a muscle injury where dangerous levels of myoglobin are released into the blood.

After her week in the hospital, Nancy transferred to Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital of Rancho Mirage for inpatient therapy. “My physician recommended I go to Vibra to continue on my rehab journey, and I am so happy that I did!”

When she arrived at Vibra, Nancy faced a difficult road ahead. “I needed maximum to total assistance with all of my activities of daily living and could not walk,” she recalled. But Nancy and the Vibra staff were ready to work together toward her goals of returning to her physical activities and caring for herself again at home. “All the little things we take for granted every day until we can’t even perform the most basic daily tasks.”

Nancy credits the staff for helping her achieve those goals.

“My therapist kept encouraging me to take that next step, but more importantly, setting appropriate expectations during my recovery,” Nancy shared. “I’ve learned to have patience as my spinal cord is healing. As it heals, I will continue to regain my function. I have come so far in my recovery and the employees here at Vibra have become my extended family. I am so grateful for all of them!”

The power of positivity also played a key role in Nancy’s success. “I maintained a positive attitude during all of this, and I think that positivity has helped me make gains in my recovery and keep me from falling into a poor mental state.”

Similarly, the staff provided an atmosphere of positivity for Nancy’s healing. “Everyone at Vibra was so encouraging and continually reminded me of the physical gains I was making,” she added.

With her inpatient stay complete, Nancy is on to the next phase of her recovery. “I will continue my rehabilitation at home with a private therapist and will continue to work hard,” Nancy shared. “I know I have a long way to go in my recovery, but Vibra has given me a solid foundation on which to build. I will continue to devote 2021 to walking and I look forward to being able to encourage others in my condition on their personal journeys!”