Kootenai Health’s rehabilitation services help patients recover after injuries, surgeries or illness.
Years ago Jill Williamson was diagnosed with cavernous malformations, abnormally formed blood vessels in the brain and spinal cord. After having surgery over ten years ago to help correct and postpone damaging symptoms, one of the blood vessels on her spinal cord ruptured.
In November of 2012 Jill was taken to Seattle for surgery, but she insisted on coming back to Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene for her rehabilitation
“It’s like I had a stroke, but on my spine,” Jill said. “I wanted to come to Kootenai for my rehab because I know them, and they know me. I feel a lot more comfortable here and can be closer to my family.”
Jill is one of two managers at the Kootenai Health gift shop. As a Kootenai employee, Jill has a special connection to the staff and area. But it is the quality of care that Jill cared about most.
“These guys have been there for me every step of the way,” she said. “They make me work hard – but they make it fun work. They’ve been nothing but kind, helpful and encouraging.”
Kootenai’s McGrane Center for Rehabilitation offers a variety of services for rehabilitation and physical therapy, not just for Kootenai Health patients, but for people throughout North Idaho.
“What we have to offer is different from a lot of places,” Wendy Stredwick, physical therapy assistant, said. “We see patients through their rehabilitation, but then we give them the opportunity to come back and use the gym and pool on their own. They get 12 gym sessions or pool classes for free once they complete their program, and then they can purchase more if they want.”
“I plan on keeping my Tuesdays and Thursdays routine once I’m done,” Jill said. “My healing can take up to a year so I need to keep this up to heal all the way.”
Jill isn’t the only person in her family to experience the effects of cavernous malformations. Because these malformations are hereditary, Jill’s daughter, granddaughter, and great-granddaughter have all gone through surgery.
“My great-granddaughter came to the McGrane Center for pediatric rehab for three months and we had a great experience then too,” Jill said. “I have only good things to say. I’m thankful for the staff here, they’re all amazing.”
To learn more about Kootenai Health Rehabilitation Services, visit their page or call (208) 625-5311.