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.
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
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
CHRISTUS Schumpert Health System