Katie – Reflecting on the summer

This summer has been full of learning and new experiences. I can’t believe how hands-on experience makes everything learned in the classroom come to life! The most rewarding part of my internship is watching my patients achieve their goals. Many of them come into the rehab center at a much more dependent level then their prior level of function. It is amazing to see my patients making gains everyday and knowing that I am part of the reason they get to return home safely with their family. I also love to be able to form connections with them and get to be apart of their everyday life while they’re in rehab. It is definitely a challenge when there are certain patients that don’t have the opportunity to make a complete recovery; Whether that be a person who has had a stroke and now has an inability to talk or a patient with aggressively progressing MS. Its hard to know that no matter how creative an intervention I design to uniquely benefit that person, that they will never get to be as independent as they were before the diagnosis. The story that really sticks with me the most is of one MS patient, John. John was bed bound due to his disease and was only in his mid-fifties. John’s wife was taking care of him at home until she became terminally ill with cancer. She died a few months after being diagnosed; leaving behind their special needs 30-year-old daughter that John was unable to care for by himself. The first time I met him my heart broke for his situation. I am sure this never how he envisioned his life would go. It inspires me everyday that despite the challenges life has thrown at him he is still able to go on with life and find the positive side of situations.

Katie Leithauser
Occupational Therapy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *