3 months later, after all acute care had been exhausted for Milos, his wife Celeste returned with him to Roatan. At the end of September, Milos took the long journey to Portland, Oregon and entered the RIO program at Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital for three weeks of intensive, grueling rehabilitation and testing. It was at this point that he began to get a combination of occupational, physical and speech therapy for 3-5 hours a day as well as medical and pharmaceutical treatments.
We found a great program that specializes in the needs of people with brain injuries to continue his therapies that he so badly needs as well as train all of us on how to work with Milos on how to help him better.
Milos has made amazing progress since his initial injury but especially in the past 2 ½ moths since he has been going through these intensive therapies. We are now able to have hope of Milos being able to work toward a wonderful recovery. It will be a long road to recovery but he wants to get better and is working so very, very hard! The Milos we all know and love is still with us. The gentle sweet, even tempered, guy with the sly look and wicked sense of humor- completely there- he just needs help to unlock it and bring it out.
(He loves his sunscreen!)
Through speech therapy, he is learning to form words again. The next step will be for him to put thoughts and ideas into words, rather than just repeat what is said to him. Communication is so very vital for his recovery and his sense of self at this time. Through ST, they will also work on “swallow therapy” to help him avoid fluid aspiration. Right now, Milos still needs to use a feeding tube and is only able to eat very thick purees by mouth. But boy does he have an appetite!!! He is currently unable to drink liquids and in order to get to that point, all of that work is tied into speech therapy.
In PT, Milos is building his strength back up and muscle memory. He has learned to maneuver himself from the bed or chair to the wheelchair and how to use his arms and legs to lift himself into his standing chair. One thing that has been a significant change since his therapies began here is his improved posture. He used to lean heavily downward and to the right with a painfully arched back, he couldn't hold his head up. But now he regularly sits up without leaning and greets you with a smile.
OT has helped Milos greatly with all of those day to day tasks that make us feel good about greeting each day- dressing, brushing our teeth, our hair, shaving, etc. They are teaching him small but needed life skills to become more independent. They have also found that he has some vision problems so after seeing a specialist, Milos will need glasses to correct a slight degree of near sightedness but to a greater degree, to correct his new found sensitivity to light. He will need to go for further testing and eye therapies as his left field of vision may be severely damaged.
Insurance and Costs:
As we have found out, the care and rehabilitation costs are not covered by his insurance. Of course there have been a great deal of costs up to this point and only a small portion have been covered by insurance but from this point on, between the round the clock care, a minimum of 12-15 hours of therapy a week plus his medications, Milos’ monthly bills are running over $15,000.00. As a family, we are all pitching in working with the insurance company, applying for programs with sliding scales and coming to work personally with Milos.
The therapists and ladies at his care home said that they have never seen a guest with such a hands on and active family. This year, the family is selling Christmas trees to raise money for Milos’ care. Unfortunately, all of this is just not enough.
Any donation, no matter how small, is much appreciated and will go directly to helping Milos on his road to recovery.
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