Making the Move
Mary Hay, ST, Jessica Diekema, OT, Dana Goettemoeller, ST, Kandy Habenicht, PT, Kristen Macki, RT student, Mary Kruger, PT student and Cierra Harris, intern
Benny Williams is the kind of person who's on your mind well after you leave work. A Memorial Team Member for more than 10 years, Benny was an operating room assistant when he suffered a stroke in February 2012, requiring him to undergo speech, physical, occupational and recreational therapy for 11 days at Memorial. While undergoing brain surgery in Chicago four months later, he suffered a second stroke, more severe than the first. Benny began the long journey in Memorial's inpatient rehabilitation center of re-learning to walk and to use his hands to pick things up. Everything that once came so naturally to Benny became enormously difficult.
As the days passed, he remained a patient inside Memorial while his apartment lease was nearing its end. Rather than renew the lease, he had to find a new apartment that was one level so he could get around easier. However, moving all of his things from his existing apartment to his new apartment required manpower and muscle, something he didn't have a whole lot of. Instead, while Benny continued to recuperate at Memorial, therapists who had been working to get him stronger, gladly offered to help. Over a two-day period, they moved Benny's clothes, dishes, pots, pans and other personal items into his new place. They even cleaned up the old apartment.
On the day Benny was discharged, he was able to move into his new home without the huge challenge of unpacking and unloading things. It made a big difference in his recovery: "I'm so grateful because without them the transition home would have been hard," says Benny. "That coworkers would help one of their own makes it even more special to me."
Kandace Habenicht, PT, and the others didn’t have to think twice about helping one of their colleagues. "You get the feeling Benny would do anything for anyone," says Kandace. "Our job doesn't end when we walk out the hospital doors. We want our patients to be successful well after they leave here, including patients who are our coworkers."