Marshella Lynn Cass chose Bacharach when she was diagnosed with Guillain Barre Syndrome.
An avid runner and walker, second grade teacher Marshella Lyn Cass was preparing her classroom for the opening of school last year, when she began to feel tingling in her feet and her legs began to feel heavy.
In a few short hours, she was in ICU, enduring CAT Scans, MRIs, bloodwork, and even a spinal tap to rule out complex conditions like stroke, MS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and Guillian Barre Syndrome.
Finally, after all test results came back negative, her doctors decided their treatment approach would be based on her symptoms, which were identical to Guillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS). Doctors told Marshella she likely had GBS, a rapid onset condition caused by the immune system. GBS damages peripheral nerves and causes pain, numbness, weakness, and paralysis that simultaneously affect both sides of the body.
Marshella tells her own story best.
“When my doctor came into my hospital room to discuss my rehabilitation treatment plan, I knew where I was going…Bacharach. Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation has proven itself to me and my family since 1982 when my brother was admitted for a spinal cord injury. The care he received from the nurses, inpatient therapists and outpatient therapists was exceptional. During my stay I was fortunate enough to have had some of the very same doctors, nurses, and therapists that my brother had 34 years ago.”
“I arrived at Bacharach in September with a catheter, unable to walk, and unable to feel anything from my waist down. My legs were not working; I couldn’t move my feet. I could not stand, my balance was horrible. I had to learn to do everything again.”
“With the help of my skilled, compassionate, and determined inpatient therapists, Becky Evans-McGill,, PT and Kelly Glaser, OT, I left Bacharach walking with a walker, able to go up a flight of stairs safely, and capable of getting in and out of shower without incident.”
“I returned for my outpatient rehabilitation in early November. My physical therapist was Jenn DelFiandra, DPT, a tough cookie who knows her craft. She knows when how hard to push me. She motivates me by keeping my therapy interesting and relevant. If it matters to me then I’m going to work hard while doing it. She asks questions about what it is I feel I need to master in order to help with my return to work and life as it was before GBS.
“Jenn likes to do things outside the box. One example would be when we simulated a Code Red Drill, a drill we teachers perform often in the classroom to prepare our kids for emergencies. Jenn enlisted the help of some other therapists to act as my students. I was given a mini door with a key lock (similar to my classroom door). She called the Code Red Drill and I had to maneuver my way through my “classroom” while my “students” went to their specific location. I had to pull the shades down in the gym and “lock” the door within a specific time frame. This may seem crazy to some, but this drill really helped me see that I can react quickly and safely to the drill.”
“If someone were to tell me that a nursing home is a rehab I would disagree. The job of a rehab hospital is to get me back to being me. Everyone involved in my care is working together to help me reach my goal of getting back what I lost. Physical and occupational therapy would not be the focus if I were in a nursing home. The therapy session would not be as intense either. The nurses in a nursing home specialize in caring for the elderly, I’m not elderly. I feel the goal wouldn’t be the same because the intensity isn’t the same.
“Praying, being prayed for, keeping a positive outlook on things, and putting in the work both during therapy and at home are the things that helped me overcome my physical challenges.
“I can honestly say without the skilled, dedicated, determined, outside-the-box thinking therapists, and access to inpatient rehabilitation I would not be where I am today. Thanks Bacharach Rehab!