Vivian Hobgood, Oxford, NC, has been living with multiple sclerosis (MS) since 1990.
MS is a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system. She noticed her condition had been degenerating for a few months but it wasn't until she developed a urinary infection that her condition really began to deteriorate. "I couldn't move my left leg, stand, or walk," says Hobgood.
Hobgood was transported by ambulance to Duke University Hospital. After five days she was transferred to Durham Rehabilitation Institute (DRI) on the seventh floor of Durham Regional Hospital.
In her two weeks at DRI Hobgood grew to love the unit, fellow patients, and staff. She was even sad to leave the unit on her discharge day, April 15, 2009.
For most patients, that is the day they look forward to from the moment they arrive because they get to return home to their family and friends. Hobgood, on the other hand, said she wanted to take some of the employees with her.
Angie Webb, the occupational therapist who worked with Hobgood, said, "Vivian has been dealt a difficult hand in life with her diagnosis, but it does not get her down. We called her the energizer bunny because she just kept going, even when she was tired."
Hobgood received occupational therapy, physical therapy, and recreation therapy to address her goals of being as independent as possible when she returned home.
"I didn't think I would want to do the exercises but they made everything enjoyable. All of the staff members were nice, the food was good, and the unit was clean," says Hobgood.
"As part of my occupational and recreation therapy I made rice krispy treats, played games, made crafts, and went to worship service," says Hobgood. "At times, I forgot I was working on exercises and just thought I was doing something fun."
"I have been to other rehab facilities before and they were nothing like this. Anybody that has to go to rehab -- Durham Rehabilitation Institute is the place to be."