“Someday, I will be able to stand and walk”
“My wife and I were boating on an area lake when I dove into the water,” Rick Madeja said. “Immediately after entering the water, I realized I could not feel anything from my armpits down.”
Rick later learned that he had a bone spur on his spine that pointed toward his spinal column. “When I dove in, the water shoved my head back and pushed that spur into my spinal cord.”
“My wife was able to throw a flotation device to me and then jumped into the water to help me get to shore. Some people in a house right there saw the whole thing happen and called 911,” Rick said, “so an ambulance was waiting when I got to the pier. At the hospital, I had emergency surgery to prevent further damage.”
“I did in-patient rehab in Milwaukee at Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin, but because we live in Pleasant Prairie, I started doing neuro rehab therapy at Froedtert South,” Rick said.
“Driving forty-five minutes to an hour to get neurological rehab when you have had a stroke or a spinal cord injury, or you have a progressive neurological disease, that can be a lot of unnecessary time and effort that we eliminate,” Tami said.
“We help patients become stable enough to be able to safely maneuver around their home and community, and achieve their goals, whether those are related to their work, family, everyday life, or even sports,” Ceilia said.
“We work to help them take pride in being able to keep doing the things they like to do, even if they are doing them in a different way.”
“They are helping me rebuild my strength and confidence, and I am definitely getting better,” Rick said. “In the last six months, I have been able to flex some of the muscles in my back. I am gaining more and more movements and control, and I am getting more feeling all the way down to my toes now. With the feeling I am getting back, I am working to strengthen my legs, so someday I will be able to stand and walk,” Rick said.
“Everyone at Froedtert South is very personable and very interested in what’s going on with me,” Rick said. “I was accepted into a day program at the world-renowned Shirley Ryan rehab clinic in Chicago, but the therapists at Froedtert South are much better.”