Tag Archive for: Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana

Client Spotlight: Ryan Bardellini

Less than one year ago, Ryan Bardellini was enjoying his senior year at the International School of Indiana. A standout fencer and student, Ryan’s future plans involved looking at colleges and planning his future. Ryan’s life changed in November of 2017. He was involved in a serious accident and sustained a traumatic brain injury. Ryan was in the hospital for three months, and at an inpatient rehabilitation facility for a few weeks. After his insurance coverage ran out, however, Ryan was discharged, and his recovery slowed.

“He went from having intensive therapy five days a week to being limited to 2 or 3 weekly visits,” says Ryan’s mother Kimberly. “He wasn’t ready to be discharged [from daily therapy], he needed much more.”

Through their own research for resources available to people with brain or spinal cord injuries, the Bardellini’s found NeuroHope to supplement the outpatient visits he was receiving at the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana (RHI).

Ryan began coming to NeuroHope on days he did not have sessions at RHI so he could receive the most therapy and exercise he could during the critical first year after his injury. In March of 2018, Ryan was still significantly paralyzed on his right side and was just re-learning to take small steps with a walker. NeuroHope’s therapists and trainers have paid particular attention to his weaknesses and fragile gait pattern over the last 6 months, and have pushed him through vibration plate balancing, electrical stimulation, treadmill training, and core exercises.

By May of 2018, Ryan had gained significant return on his right side and had become strong enough to walk on his own across the stage at his high school graduation. Ryan’s journey, attitude, and hard work have been nothing short of inspiring. He has come far in his life-changing journey, but he is not finished yet. Today, he continues to work with NeuroHope’s trainers, who push him to continue to improve his balance, coordination, and overall strength. And college plans are right around the corner! He’s been accepted to Purdue University and is taking his first class this semester with an eye on returning as a full-time student soon.

As an accomplished fencer – his next goal is get back back on the strip!


NeuroHope Wins 2017 “Health Care Heroes” Award

The physical therapy team at NeuroHope has been named “Top Honoree” for Community Achievement at the 2017 Health Care Heroes Awards!

The annual event, presented by the Indianapolis Business Journal, took place during an elegant breakfast at the Conrad Hilton to recognize doctors, hospitals, community programs, and volunteers who are devoted to bettering health care in Indiana. NeuroHope was humbled to be among the nominees, and honored to take home the top prize in Community Achievement.

Read the article in the Indianapolis Business Journal here!

Director of Therapy Nora Foster accepted the award, flanked at the podium by her amazing team of Sara Sale and Donna Peterson. These ladies are the heart and sole of NeuroHope. Two years ago, they took a leap of faith to join me in a daunting task. As highly trained therapists in neurologic injury, they recognized a void in care in the healthcare landscape, and from a purely altruistic motive, decided to help address it. Their effort has led to the creation of a clinic where injured individuals can continue affordable physical therapy and wellness programs to maximize their recovery process and improve long-term quality of life.

Every clinic revolves around the standard of care it provides its patients. That standard begins and ends with the knowledge, skill, and compassion its clinicians provide. There is no team of therapists I would rather have leading NeuroHope than Nora, Donna and Sara. I witness their work every day, and I’ve experienced it first hand. For me, it’s personal.

Donna and Sara were two of the first therapists that worked with me following my spinal cord injury 7 years ago.   Paralyzed from the neck down, I was admitted to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Indiana two weeks after my injury to begin the grueling recovery process. Donna was assigned to my case. I knew nothing about spinal cord injury. I knew nothing about the complications my body was experiencing, and I was completely in the dark about my chances for recovery. I was a floating head on a pillow with no concept of the journey that lay ahead.

Inpatient therapists are tasked with a difficult role. Doctors slam their patients with a whirlwind of information and a glimpse of their diagnosis, but therapists are on the front lines to pick up the pieces. They are the first clinicians to spend extensive time and offer hope to injured individuals. Their job is to implement a physical recovery plan, but they unwittingly become counselors, teachers, and mentors as well.

Donna was with me every day for the first eight weeks of the most trying period of my life. Sara participated in a few of my early sessions as well. At a time when therapy was spent ranging my limbs, and contracting a single muscle was a major victory, they pushed me, educated me, and took the time to answer every question I had about my injury. Most importantly, they cared deeply about my progress. They were on the journey with me. Seven years later we are on a remarkable journey again.

Nora gives the same devotion to each and every one of her patients. It is a pleasure to watch her work, and an honor to have her leading the services at NeuroHope. When I met her three years ago, NeuroHope was only an idea. The vision was planted in my head, but without the right clinician, the roots of NeuroHope would never take hold.   I needed a therapist skilled and passionate about neurologic recovery, with the “fire-in-the-belly” to help will NeuroHope into existence. I’m honored to have found her.

I can not imagine three individuals more deserving of their “Hero” recognition. Not just for their role in creating NeuroHope, but for the lives they have touched throughout their entire careers.