In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

How REHAB Hospital helps brain injury survivors rebuild their lives

Survivors gain improved function and quality of life

Sponsored by REHAB Hospital of the Pacific

A brain injury not only affects things like thinking and learning, but also impacts emotions and behavior. At REHAB Hospital of the Pacific, doctors know that each patient’s situation is different. By working together, they find the path right for each individual to rebuild his or her life after a traumatic brain injury.

A brain injury can result from trauma, tumor or disease that disrupts the function of the brain. Brain injuries cause a range of issues that affect thinking, language, learning, emotions, behavior and sensation. Symptoms range from mild to severe and can impair independence, cause problems with friends and families and negatively impact them at home, school, work and in the community.

Ethel Nishikawa is traumatic brain injury survivor and a patient at REHAB Hospital. “In 2010, I suffered a bad fall,” she explains. “I had to have a craniotomy to drain fluid build up around my brain.” After surgery, she went to REHAB for inpatient therapy and is now back doing outpatient therapy for her orthopedic issues.

For Nishikawa, the Creative Arts Program helped to provide a place for her to meet peers and friends who may have encountered the same pressures. “I look at my finished paintings as an accomplishment, and I am capable to use my creative ability,” she says. “It’s a great support system and family.”

At REHAB, inpatient rehabilitation is designed to help survivors improve function after a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury:
– Physical problems: Helps improve loss of strength, coordination movement and swallowing
– Thinking problems: Helps overcome difficulty with memory, language, concentration, problem solving and more.
– Sensory problems: Brain injuries sometimes cause changes in our sense of smell, vision, hearing and touch. Rehabilitation can help to copy or improve these issues.
– Emotional problems: Irritability, mood changes, etc.

“REHAB is the best place for one to heal their body and mind,” Nishikawa says. “It fixes both mental and physical ailments.”

About REHAB Hospital of the Pacific (REHAB)
For 65 years, REHAB Hospital of the Pacific has been dedicated to rebuilding lives.  As the only comprehensive medical rehabilitation hospital in Hawaii, REHAB has been providing exemplary care to those with physical and cognitive disabilities, such as stroke and spinal cord injuries, empowering patients to reach optimal health and independence.

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