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Sean - Neck Trauma In-Patient Rehab Patient

Sean's Spine Trauma Inpatient Rehab Patient Story

Erie native Sean, 44, was setting up a tree stand on his land when he fell nearly 12 feet, breaking his neck.

After being taken to the closest trauma center — UPMC Hamot — Sean had six-hour surgery. Surgeons implanted a cage inside his neck to stabilize his spine.

The Path to UPMC's Rehabilitation Institute to Regain Mobility

After five weeks at UPMC Hamot, Sean transferred to a local skilled nursing and inpatient rehab center to regain mobility.

He worked on strength-building techniques, but the staff felt he needed more intense therapy to regain movement in his arms. They advised he move to a rehab-intensive inpatient facility.

Family friends suggested the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC Mercy to Sean and his wife, Lynnette.

Sean says:

“People told me that I would probably not walk again. But at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute, I was able to work on strengthening my neck, arms, shoulders, and core. I was having a lot of pain in my shoulders, and they attacked it very well.”

The Results: Getting Stronger and Seeing Increased Mobility

After completing six weeks of therapy at UPMC Mercy, Sean continues to use some of the therapies at home.

He also sees a physical therapist and an occupational therapist at home for a total of four hours each week.

“I’m not where I was before I fell, but my shoulders and core are getting stronger. I even bought some of my own exercise equipment,” Sean says.

Sean uses a sip-n-puff power wheelchair — controlled by air pressure from inhaling and exhaling — to get around. He also is seeing increased mobility in his arms.

“The UPMC Rehabilitation Institute was where I needed to be at that time to get back some movement. The therapy team did a wonderful job. I’m glad we chose UPMC Mercy,” he says.

Learn more about inpatient rehab

To find out more about our services, contact the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute.

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