Wanda Poe, 73, of Elberta, Alabama, was traveling to visit her daughter in Little Rock, Arkansas, when the unexpected happened. Poe, her husband and her Schnauzer stopped in McGee, Mississippi, to check into a hotel for the night to break up the drive of the trip. Little did she know that her one-night stay in McGee would be lengthened to 49 days.
When another dog tried to attack her dog at the hotel, she grabbed her dog, tripped over a duffle bag while walking backwards and fell into the hotel room “like a tree.” On the way down, her head hit the metal door frame resulting in a very serious brain bleed.
Poe was rushed by ambulance to the local hospital where she underwent a craniotomy to repair her brain bleed and head injuries. It took her a couple of days to truly realize the severity of her injuries and where she was. After 49 days in the acute care hospital, she was transferred to St. Vincent Rehabilitation Hospital, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital in the HealthSouth network located in Sherwood, Arkansas, where she could be close to her daughter. She remained there for three weeks receiving comprehensive therapy to help her regain strength, balance and movement.
During the first week at the inpatient rehabilitation hospital, Poe experienced vertigo as a side effect of her surgery and had a hard time getting out of her hospital bed. She found encouragement from her therapists to work hard so that she could reach her personal goal of walking independently again.
“If you’re ever going to be good for yourself and everyone around you, you’ve got to get moving,” said Poe.
When Poe arrived to St. Vincent Rehabilitation Hospital, she was not able to stand and was completely dependent on others for almost everything. Therapy helped her quickly and safely progress from relying on her wheelchair for transportation to walking on a walker and then relying on the minimal assistance of a cane when walking.
A lover of “good chocolates,” Poe usually showed her appreciation to staff members in the hospital by offering them one of her special treats that her daughter brought her when they came into her room to help her or get her ready for therapy.
Poe is back in her home in Elberta and is able to enjoy watching dolphins and birds, tend to her hanging basket garden, drive and travel with her husband again.
“I do almost anything I want to do,” remarked Pope.