Sarah Newell’s Message
In August, I began my first clinical rotation in acute physical therapy. The most rewarding interaction I had was with a lady who was admitted to the hospital for general weakness and headaches. While obtaining her history, she reported that she had not walked independently in over a month.
On the first day of treatment, the lady was able the stand with assistance, but was not able to take any steps due to weakness. During our second visit, I was able to help this lady walk 20 feet with a cane. I was thrilled for her progress and had made plans for therapy interventions that would strengthen the weak side of her body.
After a few days of routine testing in the hospital, an MRI revealed a massive cancerous brain tumor. The tumor was the cause of her leg weakness. The doctors predicted that she had less than 90 days to live. Instead of requesting the most invasive and aggressive treatments, she chose a do not resuscitate status and elected for a short 10-day radiation treatment. After that treatment, the patient said she would just wait.
During this tragedy, this patient exhibited a peace that surpassed all understanding. Her faith in God was so evident. She was sure of her salvation and remained positive throughout therapy and her entire time at the hospital. Since she knew her time was short, this patient would sometimes request not to participate in therapy, but would always want to visit with me and my clinical instructor. I suppose relearning how to walk and doing strengthening exercises are not a priority in one’s final days on earth. I will never forget the joy and peace this patient demonstrated, and I am honored to have worked with her.
Medicine cannot cure every illness. This patient’s attitude during this tribulation was a testimony to her blessed assurance in Jesus Christ!