Annie Bradshaw Amazing Story 
Rhonda Koch, Marketing Manager, JFK 
Friday, 26 September 2008 
 
 
Annie Bradshaw's golden smile never dimmed but got wider once she worked with Melissa (left). 
We are pleased to bring you an amazing story of recovery and victory, a story from our own Valley that began a few years ago on the other side of the country and is continuing today at JFK Memorial Hospital (JFK). We are proud to share the experience of a special patient who benefited from life changing therapy.

Annie Bradshaw suffered a spinal injury from a fall in 2003 resulting in her being unable to do the most basic of things: feed and bathe herself and enjoy her favorite pastime, a good game of bridge. Before beginning rehabilitation therapy, Annie was completely dependent on a care giver. “The hospital in Georgia just gave up on me,” says Annie Bradshaw. “They told me seeing that I was old. That I should just sit in my wheelchair and take it easy!”
 
 
Rediscovering her pleasure at the ability to make her own salad. 
Her daughter, Mable Israel, had left her job and family in Los Angeles and moved to Georgia to assist her mother. When her family could see that Bradshaw had allowed the hospital’s prognosis to depress her, they knew she needed a change. That’s when Mable Israel and her brother, now a resident of Indio, seized the opportunity to talk Annie into moving across the country. “I settled in Indio because of the warm weather. In fact, moving to the desert is the best thing that ever happened to me,” comments Ms. Bradshaw.

Once she arrived in the desert in 2007, she visited Outpatient Rehabilitation Services (Rehab) at JFK.  A  team of therapists developed a plan, Ms. Bradshaw has not looked back. Despite the fact that she has limited use of both her arms, through exercise and adaptive equipment customized by her Occupational Therapist (OT), she is now able to perform various self-care activities like using the telephone or making a simple meal in front of the stove all on her own.

Four days each week, Ms. Bradshaw goes to Rehab – two days each for occupational and physical therapy. “Melissa, my OT, has been wonderful. She came to my house and showed me how to do things by myself, like open the door and get in and out of the shower. Isabella, my Physical Therapist, always keeps encouraging me to do more: ‘Come on. You can do it!’ she tells me. And, do you know what? I can! The other day, she had me walking between the bars. I call them my angels. They’re amazing!”

Fifteen months ago, Bradshaw relied totally on others to accomplish her daily activities. Now, stronger and stronger each day through exercises and other therapy, she has moved from being completely wheelchair bound, to being self-sufficient for the basic needs. “I was a world traveler after retiring,” Annie comments. “I have a Master’s Degree and had been totally self reliant before the accident. You tend to take little things for granted. The day Melissa showed me how to bathe myself, I honestly cried,” Ms. Bradshaw continues in a proud tone.

The Rehab team has introduced Annie to special devices that help her day to day. “They taught me how to make my own salad using a device to hold the cutting board and special knives designed to be used with hands like mine,” Annie comments. “Now, thanks to JFK’s Rehab Services Department, I not only eat salads the way I like them, but I can make them for myself,” and her million dollar smile glows across the room. Ms. Bradshaw can now play bridge on her laptop and, once a month, ventures out to the local casinos. “I enjoy the desert and try to stay on top of everything going on in the world. Like the upcoming elections. I read everything I can get my hands on,” comments the very excited “young” lady. “I still travel and enjoy life, despite my physical set-backs,” Ms. Bradshaw continues, “But best of all, I am happiest because I can take care of myself in the smallest of ways!”

 
Overhead view of specialized tools and utensils shared with Annie. 
Rehabilitation services can make a huge difference in the quality of life. Annie has been religious about coming for therapy and it has paid off. We are delighted to see her progress and consider her family. It’s a special service we can offer to our patients – a personal touch – that is very important in the rehabilitation and healing process”. Whether they are angels or family, Rehab Services have made a huge difference for Annie Bradshaw.

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