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Centerville teen a rehab success after paralysis from rare disease

2.4 from 11 votes
Friday, November 28, 2014

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A Centerville, Utah family sends its son on an LDS mission to England.  He returns home about a month later in a wheelchair. In our continued partnership with Intermountain Medical Center, we show you the progress the 18-year-old is now making. Thanks to the recently accredited Neuro Specialty Rehabilitation Unit that just underwent a rigorous review to earn the honor. His family credits his recovery to Intermountain Medical Center.

How did 18-year-old Joey Cottrell from Centerville, go from this...
"I was pretty outdoorsy.  I liked to snowboard, wakeboard," said Joey Cottrell. this...struggling to balance himself on a bosu ball.
"Not really my quads but my ankles get pretty tired," said Cottrell.
Let's back up to this past July when Joey got the call to go on an LDS  mission in England.
"We got him ready we said ok we're seeing our boy in two years," said Joey's mother Kim Cottrell.
But just five weeks after leaving, Joey's mother learned about her son's biggest obstacle.
"They said we believe he has Guillain-barré but we need to run a few tests and we need to keep him in the hospital in England for a couple of weeks," said Kim Cottrell.
It's a rare condition that took hold of Joey quickly.
"That's how it started. The tingling and the numbness in my hands and feet.  Then my legs started getting weak and then it got to the point where I couldn't walk up or down stairs," said Joey Cottrell.
Joey ended up being sent home in a wheelchair and unable to do basic activities. He came straight Intermountain Medical Center's Neuro Specialty Rehabilitation Unit where he lived from August to mid-October undergoing daily therapy.  It's where a team of trained staff worked with Joey.
"Physicians that are well trained in rehabilitation medicine, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech pathologist, social worker," said Intermountain Medical Center Rehab Program Administrative Director Brad Zollinger.
An international accreditation agency came to IMC's rehab facility where it went through the unit's practices. It's those best practices that help patients get better.
"We wouldn't waste a lot of time pursuing interventions that really haven't been proven effective," said Zollinger.
Intermountain Medical Center staff pride themselves on research studies.
"We've combined with other hospitals to develop this research," said Zollinger.
So now more patients can benefit.
"They've had very severe problems that sometimes result in a permanent impairment," said Zollinger.
Clinics and hospitals spend less money and time trying treatments that don't work.  Joey's mother kim believes this is the best place her son could've went to for rehab.
"Everyday he could do a little bit more, he was a little bit stronger and I just couldn't believe it," said Kim Cottrell.
Joey is still about 20 pounds light and still has some more hurdles to overcome, but he remains optimistic and grateful.
"They just passed me to drive a car now, so that's pretty exciting," said Joey Cottrell.
Joey plans to return to his LDS mission in England in February. There is a chance syndrome could come back, but his mother says she's not worried.  Intermountain Medical center's Neuro Specialty Rehabilitation Unit will keep that special, top honor for the next three years.
Author: By Nadia Crow
Source: Good4Utah
2.4 from 11 votes
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