Arbor Health | Arbor Health and Life | Fall 2020

‘She saved my life’ FALL 2020 CELEBRATING A TRADITION OF EXCELLENT, PERSONALIZED CARE 3 Learn your breast cancer risk 5 Lose weight safely Inside Gerald Brossow, of Morton, has dealt with spinal issues since he was 12 years old, undergoing two sur- geries and years of chiropractic treat- ment. Earlier this year, he underwent a seven-hour neck spinal-fusion surgery at a Seattle-based hospital. Although the surgery was a success, what was expected to be a short, two day stay in the hospital extended into a 10 day stay with multiple complications lead- ing to the placement of a feeding tube. “I couldn’t swallow anything,” Ger- ald recalls of his hospital stay and the early weeks at home. The feeding tube was a nightmare, with complication af- ter complication. The first pump broke and the second tube plugged up. The final incident led Gerald to Arbor Health, Morton Hospital’s emergency department, where Tom Anderson, MD, replaced his feeding tube with a differ- ent style with better drainage. Meaningful changes The changing of the tube helped but what made the real difference was “I can deal with pain, but I couldn’t deal with the feeding tube. Christina saved my life.” —Gerald Brossow when he met and started working with Speech-Language Pathologist Chris- tina Foxley. “She saved my life,” Gerald says. Up until Christina started working with him, Gerald was struggling to survive; but with her knowledgeable assistance, he progressed toward liv- ing. “She taught me real things to do,” he says. “When Christina started going through it, it took about two weeks, and I was eating pretty well and could drink spoonfuls of water.” Gerald is adamant that if it had not been for Christina, he wouldn’t have made it. “I don’t give up easily,” he states emotionally. But he had reached a point of despair and set a date in his mind, telling himself that if he wasn’t off the feeding tube by that date, he “wasn’t going to do it anymore.” Gerald worked with Christina for six weeks before graduating and Ready to live life fully? Arbor Health Rehab Services is here for you. Call 360-496-3593 for speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy and massage therapy. —Continued on page 2