Patient Experiences

Rehabilitation is a journey and each patient has a path from the devastation of injury to the moment in therapy when they take their first step, speak their first word, and cook breakfast on their own. These are stories of triumph over adversity, but they are also a chronicle of how CNS helps people regain independence. Diverse in background and severity of injury, our patients share one thing in common – they found dignity and hope at CNS.

Kailey’s Journey: Part 3

18-year-old Kailey Tesdahl was admitted to CNS’ inpatient program in August 2017, after suffering a traumatic brain injury (TBI) - the result of a car accident that occurred on her way to high school graduation. After hospitalization and months of intensive rehabilitation at CNS Dallas and CNS Fort Worth, Kailey progressed from being non-verbal and unable to walk to collecting her diploma in May 2018. The community involvement and interest in Kailey’s story were overwhelming.

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For this Couple, Valentine’s Day is All about Gratitude

Justin has spent his career in a highly specialized profession – the collecting and selling of rare coins, jewelry, and watches. He’s a numismatist, a unique job that demands intricate calculation and finance skills. But after sustaining a traumatic brain injury at work, those skills were suddenly impacted by an accident that upended his life.

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Father and Son CNS Patients

Former CNS patient Bryson Frank has had a passion for motorcycles as long as he can remember. The Bakersfield native started riding dirt bikes at a young age and obtained his motorcycle license when he was 17. But Bryson’s world turned upside down on May 11th, 2017, when he was on his way to college classes. “I was going around a bend when my bike slide slid out from under me,” he recalled.
Bryson was flung from his motorcycle, and it landed on top of him. When the ambulance arrived, they found him trapped under his bike, unconscious.

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Kailey’s Journey: Part 2

In August 2017, Kailey Tesdahl was admitted to the inpatient CNS Dallas program. The 18-year-old had suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from her involvement in a car accident on her way to high school graduation that June. After spending 30 days at Texas Rehabilitation Hospital, Kailey made her way to CNS - due in large part to the many healthcare professionals in the community who worked together to establish a continuum of care following her injury.

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Kailey’s Journey: Part 1

On June 5, 2017, Kailey was on her way to her high school graduation in Burleson, TX. The excited young woman was dressed in her blue graduation gown, ready to join her friends. However, in a cruel twist of fate, she and her sister were struck by another car that had run a stop sign. Kailey was left unconscious and in critical condition.

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Music Executive Feels Rediscovered

On an evening in March 2018, successful music executive, Nuel Cho, was out in Los Angeles with three friends, two of whom were longtime acquaintances from Korea, where he was raised. After a few hours catching up, the friends waited for taxies to head home. Nuel insisted his friends jump in the first set of taxis and he continued walking down the street to find another cab. “That’s the last thing I can remember,” Nuel said.

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STROKE PATIENT RETURNS TO WORK AT CNS

When a stroke patient returns to work, it’s a celebration for all who played a role in their rehabilitation. In the case of Paul Carroll, a CNS maintenance department employee in Bakersfield for 17 years, it’s a profound full circle. His journey from employee to patient to employee again began on St. Patrick’s Day 2016. He’d suffered a headache for a few days, and the day before St. Patrick’s Day he completed a full day’s work in the maintenance department, went home and ate dinner, but had problems with swallowing, dizziness, and speech.

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A New Meaning of Independence Day

Betty came to CNS in 2011, having endured multiple orthopedic and complex medical problems and several spine surgeries resulting in pulmonary emboli and development of metabolic encephalopathy. These complications restricted her mobility and impaired her problem-solving and cognitive skills. Betty couldn’t articulate thoughts or verbalize needs. She was at a seventh grade level in math, reading, and writing. She lacked the home safety awareness and self-care to live on her own.

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From Concussion to Country Music Star

Nearly 15 years after his injury, Dale has two award winning albums, and has been inducted into the Old Time Country Music Hall of Fame. Sometimes lives must be rerouted after brain injury. With the onset of spring, Dale’s story is a touching reminder of man and nature’s ability to renew and begin again. He is truly inspirational.

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Labor Day Takes on New Meaning for Injured Police Officer

As an experienced police officer, Ed knew the dangers inherent in working the streets of a big city. By day, he was a detective in one of the nation’s largest police departments, investigating financial and property crimes. By night, he occasionally he worked as a security presence at a local club. Then one evening every officer’s worst nightmare unfolded. An altercation with a customer led to an unthinkable act of violence. The enraged patron confronted Ed in the parking lot, ran over him with his car, and dragged him under the chassis, which caused broken bones and brain damage. As a crime fighter, Ed was now the victim, and had fractures and a brain injury as proof.

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Mother’s Day Has New Meaning for CNS Patient and her Mom

The bond between a mother and daughter deepens with life experiences. For Renee and Lauren Brashear it was a catastrophic event that strengthened the bond by creating a new level of devotion, commitment, and love. Lauren’s traumatic brain injury and rehabilitation has given new meaning to their celebration of Mother’s Day this year, as Lauren’s recovery is the ultimate gift for Renee.

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CNS Trains a New Mom - and Patient - How to Care for Her Baby

In honor of Mother’s Day, we share the incredible case of Nicole, a young mother, who was admitted to CNS’ residential program after suffering a stroke seven months into her pregnancy. On June 18th 2017, 31-year-old Nicole started feeling chest pains while at her sister’s house in Midland, Texas, as she was celebrating Father’s Day with her husband and two young boys. She was soon rushed to the emergency room of a nearby hospital. “I remember telling my husband that my head hurt. I was in and out of consciousness. Then my speech started to slur, and that’s all I can remember,” says Nicole.

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Stroke Rehabilitation Set This Family on a Path of Rediscovery

When Randy Hafdell had an aneurysm in 2014 his life became a chaotic nightmare. His wife and two children faced some terrifying prospects. How severe was his brain injury? Would it cause permanent damage? Could he work again? A grim fear set in as he was helicoptered to the hospital on that May morning, after a CT scan revealed a massive bleed that required a craniotomy.

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The Headache That Was a Stroke

A self-proclaimed workaholic, D.L. had been putting in long days at her job as a set designer. She began having severe headaches, which she suspected was caused by mounting stress. As the pain and intensity increased, she decided to seek help from her chiropractor, who administered a cervical spine manipulation.

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Concussion Didn’t Sink This Water Polo Star

An over-achiever at 16, Katie was an A student who’d been accepted into the Junior Olympics water polo team while considering which university she’d attend for nursing school. She thrived on success and was a rising star in school athletics. But her life plunged into pain and confusion when she was elbowed in the temple by a competitor during an intense match with a rival team.

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