Frank and Bobbie Kenny on her last day of therapy.
Barbara Kenny does not remember much about the beginning of her stay at Bacharach Institute after emergency surgery for a brain aneurysm last September.
She and her husband Frank both laugh now when she says, “I thought I was on a cruise. I kept saying, ‘Frank, I don’t like this cruise.’”
But it took five weeks of intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy, as well as 24-hour nursing care to get her to the point where she could go home.
“The nurses” – Bobbie pauses – “All the nurses were so lovely. I just can’t believe how nice they were and how patient. I feel so bad because I can’t remember all their names.”
“She couldn’t even sit in her wheelchair at first,” Frank said. “They had to support her in the wheelchair and they were afraid she was going to pitch forward and fall out of the chair. She couldn’t tell you what year it was. She would say “1054” or “2080.”
“At first I was not able to sit on the bed, and they got me to sit,” said Bobbie. “Little by little. I had PT with Lisa Lange, and Wendy who took me in the pool. The pool was very good. Brett was my OT and I had Alicia for speech.”
“Today is my last day of outpatient therapy. I am still recovering and memories are coming back, but not phone numbers yet. Some things that should be simple are still so hard, like zipping up a zipper. And I am frustrated that I can’t just hop in the car and go.”
“I do yoga and some cardio in the pool at the Vineland Y. But what I would like to do this summer is read again. I haven’t been able to concentrate, but if I get a really good book…”
Frank gently reminded Bobbie that there is something else special she is looking forward to this summer.
“Every year I go on a retreat for a week in July to work in the kitchen of the house in Cape May Point where the Sisters of St. Joseph vacation. I used to cook, but this year I may dry dishes or do laundry. I sent in my papers and I am going.”
“So many friends sent cards and thought about me while I was here. I had so many visits from the Sisters of St. Joseph. My grandchildren came to visit. And Frank – we’ve been married 40 years – he’s my inspiration. We are still having fun,” Bobbie said as she and Frank looked at one another and smiled. “We have made something good out of something bad.”