Miracle Moments Miracle Moments In Work Life

HE MIRACLE for the Comprehensive Rehabilitation Center of Excellence at CHRISTUS Schumpert Bossier was a woman named Thelma. The 40-year-old mother of two was the facility’s first burn patient. A former boyfriend had broken into her home, thrown gasoline on her and ignited a fire. Thelma was burned over two-thirds of her body. Less than six months after the incident and months earlier than anyone could possibly have believed or hoped for, Thelma was ready to go home.

The fact that Thelma had progressed so well and so rapidly was in itself a miracle, but a bigger miracle occurred for the staff at CHRISTUS Schumpert Bossier.

Thelma was admitted to the newly opened rehabilitation facility at a time of uncertainty and trial for the staff. Prior to the opening of the rehab center, there had been a controversial debate surrounding the eventual closure of CHRISTUS Schumpert’s general acute care services, followed by six months of physical renovations. The staff had barely begun to work together as a team and had extremely limited experience working with burn patients. Admittedly, just seeing a patient so badly burned was a bit frightening.

One Associate recalls feeling overwhelmed the first time she saw Thelma. She knew it was going to be an extremely difficult recovery. The unbelievably painful daily baths were a trial for Thelma and the staff alike, but each helped the other through the ordeal.

While acknowledging that the therapy and care she received were quite painful at times, Thelma credits the CHRISTUS Schumpert staff and physicians with helping her recover. “This is nothing short of a miracle,” she said. “I envisioned myself in a wheelchair unable to walk, but the staff has helped me in ways I never dreamed possible.”

After months of challenges associated with Thelma’s care, her going-home party provided the rehabilitation center’s administrator a chance to reflect on the facility’s mission. “When I saw the dedication of our staff in caring for such a critically injured patient,” she said, “I knew we had made the right decision to discontinue general acute care services and specialize in rehabilitative care.”

As a result of our staff’s devotion to extending the healing ministry of Jesus Christ, we were able to work collaboratively with the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center where Thelma received medical care for her injuries to heal her body, mind and spirit.

Sally Croom
Public Relations
CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System
Shreveport, Louisiana