Category Archives: Patient Stories

Stroke Awareness Month: Patient Profile

PannyRhodes2In her distinguished career, including prominent positions such as state delegate and rector of the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors, Panny Rhodes has always been active and independent. In fact, she and her husband Jim had returned from a trip to the Mediterranean just days before Panny experienced a life-changing event – a devastating stroke. Continue reading


Traumatic Brain Injury: The Process of Help and Healing

Cruise2007 003Theresa Ashbury’s son Wesley was a thriving high school student and baseball player in 1997 when, in an instant, his life changed forever. He was only 17 years old and he sustained a traumatic brain injury as the result of a car accident. Continue reading

iWALK Recovery Center “Shirel” Commercial

Shirel‘s Commerical

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iWALK Recovery Center “Anita” Commerical

Anita Commercial

iWALK Recovery Center

Northern Neck Woman Overcomes Paralysis, with Help from Sheltering Arms

We love hearing success stories, and there’s a great one featured in the Northern Neck News this week. Alyson Pugh was paralyzed when she came to Sheltering Arms at Memorial Regional Medical Center. About a month later, she walked out the door. Here’s the link to her must-read story:

Warsaw woman overcomes paralysis

Sheltering Arms Supporter Finds the Power to Overcome

dsc01555The DuPont Spruance Plant’s 3000 Day Safety Club has generously supported Sheltering Arms since 1954. As a DuPont employee for nearly forty years, Chris Fredericksen was very familiar with the remarkable recoveries patients make at Sheltering Arms, but never did he imagine that he would be one of them!

In February, E.coli entered Chris’s body through a broken tooth when he was eating a hamburger. After spending eight days in intensive care and moving around among hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, Mr. Fredericksen ended up at Sheltering Arms.

“I couldn’t ask for any place better,” he says.

Ironically, after the first week of his two-week stay at Sheltering Arms, Chris’s wife became a patient as well. Prior to his illness, Chris spent his days working hard at DuPont and visiting his wife in another local hospital at night. Once he got sick, it had been over a month since the two had an opportunity to see each other – until they both landed at Sheltering Arms.

Chris was discharged from inpatient rehab on March 30th, and continues his recovery with outpatient therapy several times a week.

“Everything’s been getting better and better since I came to Sheltering Arms,” he adds. “I’m mighty glad they’re here.”

Team members from DuPont came to the hospital to make a donation to Sheltering Arms in Chris’s honor on Thursday, April 8th.

Finding the Power to Overcome – Ron Duck’s Story

ron-duckWhen Ron Duck offered to help one of his employees on July 27, 2006, he had no idea it would change his life forever. An accident on the loading dock resulted in a spinal cord injury, leaving him unable to speak and with limited movement.

“I couldn’t even scratch my nose,” he recalls.

Ron spent nearly six months in hospitals, where he gained medical stability and began the rehabilitation process. He came to Sheltering Arms for outpatient physical and occupational therapy, and to this day he is an active fitness and Club Rec member at our Midtown location.

He has developed a special bond with fitness specialist, Carmelo Vazquez, who pushes him a little farther each time they work together.

“He and I understand each other. He shows genuine concern and has given me the confidence to come as far as I have,” says Duck. “When I first starting coming to Sheltering Arms, I didn’t even have enough strength and control to close the door. Now, I can close it and lock the deadbolt. I’m not so dependent anymore and that’s a great feeling.”

Ron and his wife have found a second family at Sheltering Arms, helping them to do many things they didn’t realize were possible, such as making wreaths, painting and even traveling.

“Being among the folks here, you realize it’s okay to be where you are. We’ve all lost something, but Sheltering Arms gives us the courage to get it back,” he adds with a smile.

To learn more about the Sheltering Arms Club Rec program and/or fitness center, call (804) 764-5275.