Former Kenmore Mercy Hospital Patient Returns To Thank Rehab Unit

10:04 PM, Aug 24, 2010   |    comments
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Leslie Bahler

Kenmore, N.Y. - It was the best kind of reunion there could be- a former patient coming back to a hospital to say thank you to the people that helped to save her independence.

"You look wonderful," employees of the Medical Rehabilitation Unit at Kenmore Mercy Hospital said to Leslie Bahler on Tuesday.

Bahler, an Amherst resident, looks wonderful, she sounds wonderful, she feels wonderful.

And when you look at where she was just ten weeks ago, Leslie's story is a wonder.

Back in June, a stroke-like injury left her without the use of her right arm and leg.

"I couldn't get dressed, I couldn't hold a pencil, I couldn't eat dinner I couldn't lift my arm, I couldn't lift my leg, I couldn't do anything, which was pretty scary," said Bahler.

Just as scary, was the strong possibility that Leslie would have no longer be able to do the thing she loves most: play music.

She's a music teacher and a professional musician, having played the viola for the Buffalo Philharmonic and other orchestras.

On June, 12th Leslie entered the rehab unit at Kenmore Mercy.

"She needed a lot of encouragement just to stand, let alone walk, she wasn't able to move her arm at all, or control her leg," said her physical therapist Mary Caezza.

"She was a very, very hard worker, she was excited, every day was something new," said her occupational therapist, Suzette Deguehery.

Every day for nearly the next four weeks, Leslie had to relearn all the things we take for granted - how to walk, how to eat, how to dress herself. And eventually, she also learned how to play the viola again.

On Tuesday, Leslie returned to the rehab unit at Kenmore Mercy to say thank you - not with words, but with a little help from Johan Sebastian Bach.

"Every time I get out of bed or brush my teeth or put a shoe on I will remember what they taught me and how kind they were," said Bahler.

Bahler's performance was part of a celebration marking the second consecutive year that the hospital's inpatient rehabilitation unit was named among the top ten percent in the country.

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