Story of Recovery: Bob Kuhn’s Guillain-Barré SyndromeClinical Expertise
Feb 10, 2022
Apparently, I’m a survivor, but I could not have survived all this and reached this improved quality of life had I not been under the care of the team at Brooks Rehabilitation.
I’m Bob Kuhn from Ocala, Florida. And I’ve been a Brooks patient for the past 2 1/2 years. It’s been three years since I was struck by GBS. It’s a rare disorder where your immune system attacks your nerves controlling your muscles, results in muscle weakness, and in severe cases, paralysis. I went to sleep one night, happy and healthy. And I woke up a few hours later paralyzed. I went into total respiratory failure, was intubated and spent the next three months on a ventilator. And everyone we met along the way from the emergency room in Ocala, through all those weeks in the ICU, to the LTAC, they all said the same thing, I needed to get to Brooks in Jacksonville.
With a trach in and a feeding tube, I was admitted to Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital. I remember waking up that first morning at Brooks, a therapist named Lauren came into my room and told me she was gonna take me to the gym for some exercise. So I told her she was in the wrong room. I don’t get outta bed. I can’t get outta bed. So for the next few weeks, I worked relentlessly. I learned how to operate a power wheelchair with just small head movements.
After five weeks at Brooks Hospital, I transferred to Brooks Bartram Crossing for more therapy. Dr. Dempsey has been like my guardian angel since I’ve been with Brooks. Dr. Dempsey talked with me and we decided that my recovery could be better served moving to the Brooks Neuro Recovery Center. So I transferred there to take advantage of the high-tech machines and the very knowledgeable staff.
It’s really an amazing place and one of the premier neuro recovery centers in the world. In early 2020, a power wheelchair accident put me in the hospital for a few days. And as a result of that, I began taking in-house therapy at University Crossing. I’m really happy with the intensive one-on-one therapy I’ve been getting and physical therapy. I’ve progressed to walking with a walker and even some independent walking. So we’ve made some good strides. We’re seeing some real progress.
While I was still at the NRC, I met Alice Krauss and got involved with the Adaptive Sports Program. It’s an amazing program that serves over 10,000 disabled people in Jacksonville and beyond. Through adaptive sports, I’ve done everything from bowling, to yoga, to skeet shooting, bocce ball, horseback riding, power soccer, challenge mile, talent show, cycling, kayaking, and even surfing.
The Brooks Adaptive Sports and Recreation Program makes the world a better place for a lot of people. Brooks has been a amazing, the whole journey from the hospital, through the different skilled nursing facilities in the NRC, adaptive sports. I went from a condition where I couldn’t move at all. I could barely breathe. And for them to bring me along to the point where now I’m actually walking and starting to use my hands, it’s just been amazing and a real increase in my quality of life.
I would just like to say to everyone at Brooks, all the employees, everyone I’ve come in contact with, thank you very much. And you’ll never know how much everything you do for a patient matters.