Urgent need for more rehab care for Brain Injury Patients

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On September 8, 2016, my son suffered an accidental drug overdose. He arrived in the emergency room in a semi-conscious state and, on arrival, he was intubated, placed into an induced coma, and transferred to the ICU department.  While there, he went into cardiac arrest and was deprived of oxygen for roughly 10 minutes. 

Once my son was medically stable, I was ready to take the next step in his recovery. I began the search for a post-acute inpatient rehabilitation hospital/transitional facility in Miami-Dade County and the surrounding area. I contacted numerous facilities—and not one would accept him due to his “level of response.”

After a 1 year and 4 months of being transferred from one acute hospital to another, I was blessed to have met Dr. Kester Nedd, who was able to get him into West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital.  But the stay there was short-lived. After less than two weeks of their services, he was discharged and I was told that my son’s treatment could not continue because he wasn’t progressing at the rate expected by insurance companies. 

The lack of rehabilitation, and especially the minimal DURATION the insurance companies allow, is prohibiting patient progress. Insurance companies have a very strict policy of almost immediate improvement, which is highly unlikely for patients with brain injuries.  Without the chance or opportunity of critical rehabilitation treatment, how is my son and other brain injury patients supposed to recover? 

We need to find a way to change the system and provide longer and more accessible rehabilitative care.