Helen Hayes Hospital Honors Assembly 2018 Honors Jacquelyn Ryan


Dr. King: The continuing care cup recognizes an
individual who has benefited from ongoing therapies, specialty services, and
a commitment to getting better. It is being presented by physical therapist
Francesca DeSimone. When we all met Jackie here at Helen Hayes Hospital she had
only recently moved to the lower Hudson Valley with her husband Matt. Before
coming up to New York Jackie worked as a personal trainer in Florida and she met
Matt and was enjoying a very active lifestyle. Unfortunately during that time
the couple’s strength was tested when Matt suffered a brain injury after a
high-speed motor vehicle accident. Matt was able to make an amazing
recovery and while we were getting to know Jackie she would lovingly mention
how she took him as one of her most important clients. She helped him to
recover from his accident. After he had completed all of the services, continues
to work with him today as her client but then as we got to know Jackie
we found out she had just come up in 2017. They had decided to move up to the
lower Hudson Valley area and it was Jackie’s turn to inspire us all with her
incredible recovery. After noticing some changes in the way that she was walking
she was diagnosed with an epidural abscess in her spine. She required
emergency thoracic surgery to attempt to save what movement in her leg she still
had, and following surgery she was transferred to us where she remained
with us for over two months. The severity of Jackie’s
paralysis after surgery caused some hesitation when it came to believing
that she would be able to walk again. Most of her sessions were to help her
cope and become comfortable with managing life with full paralysis. But
Jackie was extremely motivated and never lost focus of her desire to walk
again. She became the patient on the unit that everybody admired and rooted for
and as a result of her hard work she began walking with bracing before she was
discharged home. Jackie only continued to improve as she transitioned to
outpatient. She participated in aquatic therapy. She worked with our outpatient
neurology rehab program working towards more consistent ambulation without using
the wheelchair, and today she continues to exercise regularly, has regained so
much strength that she never uses her braces and she’s rarely using a
wheelchair at all. Jackie your determination and perseverance do not go
unnoticed. Your commitment to the continuing care is an inspiration to our
staff and our patients as well as others in the community. It is my honor today to
present you with the Continuing Care Cup which comes with our deepest admiration
and respect. Congratulations. Hello, my name is Jackie. I know this is
good. I first like to thank Helen Hayes, the entire staff here. Francesca
down plays how scary it was initially. When you’re told you have a 99% chance
of probably not walking ever and if you do walk you’re only gonna get about 70%
it is, for someone who’s active like myself, the end of the world.
Oh laying in a hospital bed just looking up at the ceiling hoping one day you’ll
start moving and then seeing little flickers of your toes and starting to gain
momentum you should only be continued when you have a group of people who
believe in you around you. I’d like to thank my therapist Francesca, Marco,
Mike, Ellen, my primary ones then the entire team here my doctors Dr. Lent,
Dr. Boiano. My surgeon did a great job Dr. Jeffrey Oppenheim. All the nursing
staff here, the psychologist Dr. Little, my recreation therapist particularly
Alyssa and Matt. Outpatient therapy Joe & Thyer. thank you guys for continuing what
was started when I was inpatient. As I went into the community again, thank you my
personal trainer Chris. My Pilates instructor Nicole and a big thank you to
my family. I am incredibly blessed to be surrounded by a group of people who believe in me
so very much when I don’t believe in myself. My mom and dad, thank you guys
for raising me to have the strength and determination to do this. Thank
you to my siblings for being my best friends and giving me endless support
showing up to bring face masks to the hospital so that I could feel girly and
pretty even though I was you know in a hospital attire. Thank you to my aunts
who give me so much support and visits and just told me I could do it.
Thank you to my grandmother who keeps me grounded. I live with her right now.
My husband and I do. She keeps me on a schedule so that I can be a functioning
adult everyday. Thank you, you keep me pushing forward grandma. To my husband
Matt you are my inspiration. You blessed me
with the best gift that anybody ever can with your presence. You came to the
hospital every single day. You show me what a hard work is. You’ve given me the
strength to keep going. You’ve literally picked me up when I fall down and you’re
by my side through thick and thin no matter what how much we might fight, thank
you. Francesco mentioned that he had a brain
injury six years ago and and you have to I have to give you props because to be
able to come back from a brain injury it’s not an easy thing to do and I feel blessed
that I’m able to walk around with crutches and people help me because they
can physically see what’s wrong with me. When you sustained a brain injury it’s
an invisible illness. People, people cannot see what happened and and they’re
not necessarily as kind, so your strength and the ability for this team
to bring everyone together to just, I don’t know, uplift us is pretty incredible.To the
patients who are here now and who will be here in the future, you guys are in
some of the best hands that you can possibly be in. I found that I was my own
worst enemy and if you can believe in yourself absolutely anything is possible
and you have a great team around you who will get you there. I’ve learned hundreds
of lessons this past year for my paralysis and I guess I would say the
best way I can possibly share it is just going and living my life
and exemplifying what everyone has blessed me here with, so thank you guys for your
continued support and thank you Helen.

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