Health Plus: Overcoming paralysis, part 2 - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Health Plus: Overcoming paralysis, part 2


WATERLOO (KWWL) -- Last week, we told you about a young, eastern Iowa mother who went from walking to a wheelchair in 24 hours.

In Health Plus, how physical therapy got her back on her feet despite a diagnosis that she'd never walk again.

Suzzanna Dell has had more ups and downs in a year than most would in a lifetime.

Last fall, the Waterloo mom had surgery in Iowa City to remove an abscess on her spine.

And it left her paralyzed.

"Basically everything was being done for me. I couldn't do anything on my own. They told me that I was gonna be a quadriplegic."

But the rehabilitation unit at Covenant Medical Center in Waterloo changed her future.

Months of therapy literally put her back on her feet--beating the odds.

"So kinda start, like I said, from a wheelchair and progressed to a wheeled walker, then we went to like a large-based quad cane and then we would go to like a single point cane and then eventually we were walking without any assisted device. That was kinda the progress that she made over the several months that she was receiving outpatient therapy," said Linda Crisman, Covenant physical therapist.

Physical therapists say attitude is critical in a patient's progress and Suzzanna was determined from the start.

"She was so easy to work with because, you know, we could give her the tools. You know we could give her what she needed to do but ultimately she had to be the one to do it and she, I think, really like those challenges. They were difficult but she knew what it took and she was very willing to do what she needed to accomplish," said Linda.

Suzzanna turned 30 Christmas day.

"I'm just so glad that I was blessed to have a second chance."

Clearly, a birthday filled with so many blessings.

Treatments for Suzzanna's Crohn's Disease likely caused the growth on her spine that led to her paralysis.

 Online reporter/News Anchor: Tara Thomas

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