Patients share journey to recovery at University of Utah rehabilitation hospital

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The University of Utah rehabilitation hospital treats patients who have suffered multiple traumatic injuries. A year after it opened, some patients are sharing their journey to recovery.

U of U health officials said rehabilitation for people who have suffered multiple traumas is an important part of a person’s recovery.

The Craig H. Neilsen Rehabilitation Hospital is helping people to build independence and improve their quality of life for when they go home.

Last summer, Sarah Frei lost both of her legs in a head-on car crash.

“I had to relearn how to do a lot of things, almost everything; as far as sitting up, transferring from chair-to-chair, my wheelchair to the couch,” she said.

As part of her recovery, Frei said she came to the facility for about a month.  

“Even though my body has changed so much after the accident, I can still do fun things and this rehab center is kind of where it all started and where I figured that out,” Frei said.

After contracting COVID-19 and falling down, Richard Grande was brought to the hospital for rehab as well.

“I fell coming out of my bathroom, broke my neck, and they had to fly me from home to here,” he said.

Grande is still recovering and said he’s working to use his arms, legs, and speech skills again, noting every day he’s getting stronger.

On-site officials said to be admitted, a trauma patient must meet specific rehab criteria. Once at the center, they said the average patient is in their care for 18 days.

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