The Power of Personalized Rehabilitation

The George Washington University GW Hospital stroke rehabilitation rehab Jaci Wilson ReidSome call her a “socialite.” Others, a “power player.” But one thing is certain: Jaci Wilson Reid is a major factor in politics, in fundraising and on the Washington scene.

It nearly came to an end. Vivacious Jaci — a woman who friends described as achieving the pinnacle of perfect health — suffered a massive stroke, or brain hemorrhage, in 2009. All of the good work that Jaci had done for charities over the years looked like it might grind to a halt.

No Speech, Loss of Movement

Jaci’s stroke was so severe that it required brain surgery and an extensive stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at The George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC. Her situation was dire, recalls Philip Marion, MD, Medical Director, Rehabilitation Services at GW Hospital.

“She had both expressive and receptive aphasia,” Dr. Marion says. “That means she couldn’t talk, and she couldn’t understand what you were saying to her.”

Jaci had difficulty swallowing, and absolutely no movement on the right side of her body. “Not only that, but she literally was not aware of the right side of the world, at all,” Dr. Marion says. “You could put a million dollars on her right side, and she would not have even noticed it.”

Recovery Exceeded Expectations

Jaci overcame her poor prognosis with two things: her own strong will and the personalized care that is unique to the Acute Rehabilitation Unit.

“Working with Dr. Marion wasn’t just a positive experience; it was amazing,” Jaci says. “Once we accomplished one goal, he would constantly push me forward toward the next goal. I think this is the reason my recovery exceeded everyone’s expectations.”

Personalized Treatment

For a 42-year-old woman, Jaci’s rehabilitation needs varied from those of a 72-year-old, Dr. Marion notes. Developing a customized care plan for each and every person who comes through the doors of the Acute Rehabilitation Unit is a key aspect of the unit’s mission.

“No two people are alike, so this is one of the most critical things we do,” Dr. Marion says. “We’re the right place for the comprehensive care Jaci needed. We have additional support, specialized services and emergency care if needed.”

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