Recapturing Her Confidence
After sustaining a spinal cord injury from a fall, KJ Rosynek focuses on continuing to work hard in her rehabilitation and planning for a bright future.
On a summer afternoon in July 2017, KJ Rosynek, now 62, climbed a ladder to clear a fallen limb. At the top, she lost her balance and fell over an adjacent fence. The fall resulted in a spinal cord injury to her C-3 to C-6 vertebrae — as well as a looming question about what life would be like with quadriplegia.
After spending 25 days at Wellstar Kennestone Hospital, KJ was admitted to Shepherd Center.
Following six weeks of inpatient care in the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program, KJ started going to Beyond Therapy® at Shepherd Center three days a week. The program combines athletic training and physical therapy concepts, offering customized plans to maximize recovery and minimize secondary complications.
“It’s so refreshing to see a team that focuses on the goals of the patient — pushing, encouraging and driving you to try harder,” KJ says. “When you believe you can’t do anymore, they find new and creative ways to keep you engaged.”
Today, KJ lives independently in an apartment of her own. An avid gardener, she’s already planted pansies to add color to her patio. KJ’s also been able to continue working a job she loves. This February, she celebrated her 21st year as operations manager for a medical media company. Of course, she enjoys her days off, too. On warm days in Smyrna, KJ says, “You’ll see a gal in a wheelchair headed to a park and a sunny spot!”
The youngest of six sisters, she’s been blessed to have her siblings by her side throughout her recovery. KJ is also thankful for her new friends at Shepherd Center.
“They’ve made me strong again physically, but they’ve also allowed me to recapture my confidence,” KJ says. “They’ve restored my faith. They’ve given me hope to have dreams and to plan for the future. The staff is everything to me — instructors, therapists and most definitely friends. I have never met such giving individuals. I’m honored to know them.”
She also has some advice for those who may be facing a similar journey.
“Stay strong and positive,” KJ says. “Life isn’t over. It’s only a detour. There will be good days and bad days, but stay focused on the next steps and work hard. Give yourself credit for even the smallest things. It’s all progress.”
Written by Phillip Jordan
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neurological conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.