Tiffany Anderson, 22, and two of her close friends and classmates from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Ky., spent a fun-filled, snowy February weekend visiting with friends at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. It was a fun weekend with friends and a typical winter day as they prepared to travel back to Richmond mid-morning on Sunday, Feb. 22.
“On Sunday morning when we were planning our return home to Cincinnati, it seemed like nothing was going right,” Tiffany said. “We kept forgetting things to pack in the car and the timing seemed to be ‘weird’ all morning.” The weather report predicted icy roads and a slow drive home.
Tiffany remembers nothing about driving back home that day because on a four-lane highway while passing a truck, she hit a patch of ice, flipped the car four times, was ejected through the back car window along with another friend, and was tossed across to the opposite side of the road where another car could easily have hit her.
Tiffany and her friends had been unrestrained in Tiffany’s car. Additionally, the truck driver never stopped to help.
Tiffany’s parents, John and Lisa, received a call that their daughter had been airlifted to a hospital in West Virginia, three hours away.
Once they arrived at the hospital, the Andersons found Tiffany in intensive care. She had suffered a traumatic brain injury and was in a medically induced coma on a ventilator for seven days. She had sustained fractures of her lower back, sternum and collarbone and had sutures in a knee. Tiffany remained in ICU for a month.
When Tiffany was strong enough for rehabilitation in an acute care hospital, they knew they wanted the best.
“We wanted the very best rehabilitation care for our daughter,” Lisa said. “But, of course, did not know where in Cincinnati that would be given, as she needed a very specialized program for brain injury. We desperately needed to return home with Tiffany nearby for additional care.”
A trusted group of friends toured HealthSouth Rehabilitation at Drake on behalf of John and Lisa who could not leave Tiffany’s side. Upon learning its outcomes and the feedback from friends, the decision was made to move Tiffany to HealthSouth Drake.
“The doctor and specialists were so reassuring, and educating us on all of the phases of brain injury recovery,” John said. “The whole HealthSouth team, which included us, the family, worked together tirelessly to deliver the month-long rehabilitation Tiffany deserved.”
Tiffany referred to her nurses, nutritionist and therapists as the “A-team,” tightly bonding with them throughout her recovery.
“Out of this entire experience, I only remember the last two weeks at HealthSouth,” Tiffany said. “But, once I headed in the right direction, I haven’t stopped.” Tiffany recently finished the Susan G. Komen 5K run, and works part-time, drives a car, runs daily and attends college.
Tiffany and her parents could not say enough good things about HealthSouth Drake. “God protected Tiffany and manifested Himself through all the caregivers,” Lisa said. “There were just so many great things about our experience at HealthSouth.”
*The hospital provides access to independent physicians.