Seventy-five-year-old Jim Dillon of Topeka, Kansas was tending to his garden one morning when he suddenly collapsed after his legs gave out. He had no feeling in his legs and was taken to the emergency room where his physician diagnosed him with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a disorder with no known cause where the immune system attacks the peripheral nerve system. In some cases, this disorder can be life-threatening or cause severe paralysis. Like Jim, one common symptom that patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome first experience is tingling and weakness in the legs.
After seven days in the acute care hospital, Jim chose Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital to help him reach his primary goal of walking again. Upon arrival to the inpatient rehabilitation hospital, he was unable to walk, roll over, sit or stand. Over the next 18 days, he received at least 15 hours each week of intensive therapy to accomplish that goal. His therapy team motivated him and worked with him on strength, balance, endurance and retraining his muscle movements to help him walk short distances with a walker. He was able to return home with his wife and continue therapy through home health services.
Today, Jim walks unassisted and has returned to some of his favorite activities including gardening, canning vegetables, spending time outside and playing poker with his friends.