Also part of the UPMC family:

UPMC Rehabilitation Institute Patient Stories

Lee's Story

After many years suffering from diabetes, Lee had to have his right leg amputated.

When his daughter started planning her wedding, Lee wanted to be able to walk her down the aisle. He began therapy at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute where he worked hard to learn how to use his prosthetic leg.

With his bright spirit, strong will, and determination to reach his goal, along with the support and care of his therapists, Lee was there to escort his daughter to the altar on her wedding day.

Megan's Story

From horseback riding to whitewater rafting, Megan was always up for an adventure.

But an unfortunate ATV accident left her with a broken back and neck, and unable to move her legs. After recovering from 17 hours of surgery, Megan elected to go to the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute for inpatient rehabilitation.

It was a daily struggle, but with the help of world-class doctors, therapists, nurses, and state-of-the-art equipment, she worked to sit up, stand, and walk again. She’s come so far. In fact, she’s not only riding her horse again, but she’s soon jumping into life’s ultimate adventure. This October, Megan will be, quite literally, walking down the aisle to be married.

Barbara's Story

Blessed with talented hands and an independent character, Barbara ran a sewing business and made quilts for friends and family.

But a brain stem stroke left her unable to stand or use her hands and arms. With seven UPMC Rehabilitation Institute locations available, Barbara chose one close to home and worked with expert therapists, doctors, nurses, and cutting-edge robotic equipment. She moved from wheelchair to walker to cane and can now walk with no physical support.

As for those talented fingers of hers, they’re busily back at work. She’s making quilts once again, and she even found time to make scarves for the UPMC rehabilitation staff.

Ben's Story

While repairing a roof for his church, long-time football player Ben suffered a devastating fall that left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Following a lengthy surgery, he chose to work with the doctors, therapists, and nurses at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute’s spinal cord injury center of excellence at UPMC Mercy, where, with help from therapists and state-of-the-art facilities, he’s regaining the strength to live both a functional life and an athletic one.

Today, Ben plays in an adult sled hockey league as a member of the Mighty Penguins and is still determined to give back to his community. He recently started his own foundation to provide emotional and financial support to those who have suffered similar life-altering injuries.

Brittany's Story

Driving back from school, Brittany was just a minute from home when her car hit a patch of ice and spun into a pole.

The accident left her in a coma for six days and caused traumatic brain injury. Surrounded by world-class care while in inpatient therapy at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, Brittany relearned the basics — standing, speaking, and maintaining balance. Making great progress, she chose outpatient rehabilitation at a UPMC Centers for Rehab Services location close to home.

Nearly fully recovered, Brittany is now not just walking, but driving and has returned to work. And this fall, she plans on getting back to school studying early childhood development.

Bill's Story

Within a three-week period, Bill suffered not one, but three strokes.

Damage to the right side of his brain caused him to struggle with walking and controlling his hands. Putting his trust in the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute’s center for stroke rehab, Bill worked hard to steadily regain control of his hands and relearn to walk.

He found motivation from therapists, nationally-recognized researchers, as well as a therapy dog. So taken with the canine companion, Bill adopted and trained a therapy dog of his own upon leaving. Now he and Rudy, his Goldendoodle, volunteer at schools, nursing homes, and weekly at UPMC.