Michael Greene, PTA, Brooks Employee and Patient, Selected as 2023 Rehab ChampionCulture
Aug 24, 2023
Watch our 2023 Rehab Champion video:
Awarding a former patient or caregiver the title of “Rehab Champion” has been a tradition at Brooks Rehabilitation for more than 30 years. This year, we are thrilled to announce that our Rehab Champion is a familiar face at Brooks, Michael Greene, PTA.
To select a winner, we accept nominations from our employees for a person who has met the challenges of physical rehabilitation and whose courage and tenacity has been a source of inspiration to others. He or she has demonstrated their care and concern by giving support to others who may be facing similar trials, through sharing experiences and by overcoming both physical and emotional challenges.
Michael was the inspiration and support to others BEFORE he became a patient himself. In fact, he has been inspiring patients at Brooks Rehabilitation Hospital – University Campus for the past 20 years. As soon as he finished school, he was hired at Brooks as a physical therapy assistant for the stroke and cardiac unit.
Michael treats each patient as if they are a member of his own family. Patients and families alike praise him for the impact he had on their recovery. Michael would work tirelessly, during breaks and after hours, to ensure his patients had the best recovery possible. He would visit each of his patients before leaving for the night to highlight their successes during the day and thank them for working so hard with him. This dedication led to excellent patient outcomes and earned him his own Brooks “Celebrate the Stars” award in 2013.
Then the unthinkable happened, and Michael became a patient himself. On Oct. 11, 2022, Michael had a massive heart attack. While in the ICU, he recognized the symptoms so many of his patients experienced and knew he was now having a stroke. Thankfully, since he was already in the hospital, they were able to rush him in to surgery, saving his life. However, the day after being discharged, he had a second heart attack. The damage was so extensive, the only option was a heart transplant.
As he waited for the transplant, he worked hard to prepare. He came to Brooks as a patient, working with his colleagues and friends from the past 20 years. “it’s a different feeling when you are the patient and it also gives you an awareness of what it really is like. And it makes you appreciate what you work for even more but it also made me feel very good for the organization I work for, because this is top notch,” said Michael.
On March 12, 2023, Michael was given the tremendous gift of a new heart. If anyone deserves a second chance at life, it is most definitely Michael Greene. The countless patients he’s helped with their second chances in his 20 year career would whole-heartedly agree.
Michael is now enjoying time with his family as he continues to adjust to his new normal. Throughout his tenure at Brooks, Michael was a champion in raising funds and support for the American Heart Association (AHA) each year. He’ll continue to be an advocate for AHA, this time as a survivor himself.