Beating Slim Odds: Linda Hoppenworth's Story
On July 8, 2013, after a few days of experiencing flu-like symptoms, 57-year-old Linda Hoppenworth was suddenly non-responsive. Due to her very critical condition, she was was air lifted by helicopter to Henry Ford Hospital where she was diagnosed with Legionnaire’s Disease. Hoppenworth spent the following two weeks in a coma, dependent on a ventilator and her family was notified that she only had a 20 to 30 percent chance of survival.
When Hoppenworth came out of the coma and was removed from the ventilator she was extremely weak. She could not sit up, move her arms or stand on her legs. On July 30, Hoppenworth was transferred to Henry Ford Wyandotte Hospital’s Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit under the care of Dr. Anne Abrahamson. Upon her arrival, Hoppenworth admitted to feeling overwhelmed. She could not feed herself, sitting up and keeping her balance was strenuous, and her legs felt like “jello”. During physically challenging therapy sessions, the rehab team encouraged Hoppenworth to continue working hard, giving her hope as they guided her through the rehabilitation process.
Occupational Therapist Caren Chezick and Eastern Michigan University Occupational Therapy student Michael Smoot, focused on building Hoppenworth’s upper body strength and coordination needed to perform activities of daily living. Initial success came when Hoppenworth could feed herself and drink from a cup independently.
Social worker Michele Csotty gave Hoppenworth and her family progress updates, emotional support and assistance to return home.
In the first week, Kevy Nycek, physical therapist, and J. Michael Adkins, physical therapist assistant, focused on rebuilding Hoppenworth’s strength, coordination, endurance and balance. Initially, Hoppenworth had difficulty envisioning walking again and returning to independence. She said that she gained hope after standing in the parallel bars for the first time.
Hoppenworth’s journey was certainly not easy, but with her positive attitude, hard work, perseverance and the skill of her rehab team she was able to achieve all of her goals. Hoppenworth’s rehab team members commented on what a pleasure it was to work with her, making it a bittersweet day when Hoppenworth walked out of the Hospital on her own on August 27.
On September 12, Hoppenworth paid a surprise visit to the rehab unit to thank the staff again for all they did to help her with her recovery. She presented the staff with cupcakes and informed them that she is completely independent and is even driving again.