Stephanie Barber grew up in Greensburg and currently resides here with her three children. She is a successful Medical Assistant with Southern Indiana Orthopedics and has been there for a little over two years. She enjoys spending time with her family and attending summer concerts.
On the evening of December 11, all of that changed within seconds. While driving on 46 coming from Columbus to Greensburg on her way home after work, Stephanie was in a terrible car accident.
“I remember a lady knocking on my window after it happened and she was a respiratory therapist. She stayed on the phone with 911 and was constantly making sure I stayed awake until the ambulance arrived. I remember the smell of hot rubber and being in so much pain.”
Luckily a first responder lived across the street and witnessed the accident take place. He also stayed with Stephanie until EMS arrived.
After looking over her injuries, they decided to lifeline her to Methodist Hospital.
“At that moment all I could think about was my kids. I kept thinking this is it, I’m not going to be able to see my kids anymore.”
Thankfully, Stephanie did not have fractures in the neck or any broken ribs. However, she was in a lot of pain from the force of her vehicle hitting another car at 55 mph. It was at the hospital in the recovery room that Stephanie realized her speech was beginning to slur and she found it difficult to speak. Walking was also becoming a struggle for her.
After returning home, Stephanie was having trouble doing everyday tasks such as taking a shower, eating with utensils and even walking. After having a follow up appointment with her Primary Care Provider Dr. Jami Rayles, Rayles realized Stephanie needed to start physical, occupational and speech therapy at Decatur County Memorial Hospital.
“I started therapy with difficulty walking, speaking, and very poor coordination. I was unable to care for myself and my three young children. I came in unable to stand up straight, grasp objects without shaking, and had very stuttered speech.”
Today, thanks to the DCMH therapy team, Stephanie is able to better care for herself and more importantly, her children.
“I can now hold my children, speak without much stutter, and stand up straight. If it wasn’t for my therapists, I would still be struggling, but instead I am improving each and every week!”
Stephanie and her family are grateful for DCMH and everything they have provided her with these last few months. Stephanie was chosen as our rehabilitation February Patient of the Month. Holly Koors, Kelsey Puckett, and Heather Riga are working with Stephanie to achieve her goals.
“Before any of this happened to me, I didn’t realize how important some of these people were within the hospital and what they could do for others. It is very reassuring knowing they have staff who can connect with you on a personal level, not just a professional one. I am so thankful for my therapy team. Their dedication and focus on my injuries has helped me get to where I am today!”