Courtenay Zurenko says that shortly after giving birth to her son she developed a rash that was diagnosed as dermatomyositis. The rare auto-immune disease, which affects the skin and muscles, only strikes about 1 in 100,000 people.
She had three grand mal seizures and then was also diagnosed with lesions on the brain, or PRES (Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome). She says Loyola was the right place for her to be.
In Loyola's Acute Rehabilitation Unit, she asked the medical staff to help her get back to the point where she could be a mom. In the beginning, she couldn't swallow, walk or get dressed. But with speech, occupational and physical therapy, she was able to start feeding her baby boy and other things that she had been missing. All the laughing with others on the rehab floor was just as therapeutic as exercise. And when she could swallow, the therapists even brought Courtenay her favorite chocolate cake.
"They really went above and beyond their call of duty," she said.
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