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Our Patients

    • Meghan Fessler

      Meghan Fessler


      Meghan Fessler faced bad odds after a 2015 car accident left her with a serious brain injury:  A 1 in 10 chance of waking up and, if she did, she might have a severe, life-long, disability. For thirty days, the 21-year-old’s outcome was uncertain. Then, slowly, she began to emerge from her coma. 

      Stable, but not yet ready to go home, she transferred to SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital - Bridgeton. For two months, a team of physical, occupational and speech therapists specially trained in treating brain injuries spent three hours a day teaching her to move, walk and speak again. A few days before turning 22, Meghan’s parents brought her home. She walked out of the hospital.

      Her care didn’t end at discharge. Meghan spent six months participating in  the SSM Health Day Institute Program, a specialized outpatient rehabilitation program designed for individuals recovering from a traumatic injury or illness, who no longer require 24 hours nursing or acute rehabilitative care. She continued working with speech therapists to re-organize her thoughts and perfect her speech. She began easing back into life, returning to her job at a local car wash. She began by tending the cash register. As physical and occupational therapy strengthened her balance and endurance, she returned to her main job vacuuming cars.

      It’s been a long road back, but Meghan is working, paying her own bills and driving again. Frequently, her drives take her back to the SSM Health Day Institute, where she shares her story to encourage new patients. In 2016, SSM Health Rehabilitation Network recognized her efforts with its ‘Spirit of Healing’ Award.

      “I guess you could say I’m back to ‘normal’ now,” she said.