LAWTON, OK (KSWO)- Current and past patients, who have spent time at the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center, gathered at Comanche County Memorial Hospital Tomlinson Medical Complex for the seventh annual rehabilitation reunion. During this reunion, one patient was given the Jim Thorpe Courage Award.
The rehab staff chooses a patient for the award who has gone through a tough battle in rehab --- but is still positive and encouraging to others.
Carey Woessner was honored this year after she recovered from a fall that broke nearly every bone on the left side of her body. She had just battled breast cancer and went through multiple chemo treatments a few years before that left her bones fragile when she tripped trying to get her dog, who was being attacked.
"I wasn't able to walk at all, wasn't able to put pressure on my leg. Wasn't able to use my left arm. So I basically had to learn how to stand on one foot and one leg. And use that one leg and use my right arm. And just to be able to do simple things was hard," said Carey Woessner, the Jim Thorpe Courage Award recipient.
She came to the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center after she had surgery to start her journey to recovery, but it wasn't an easy one she says.
"My first 4 days here were pretty tough just because I was emotional and it was right after the surgery. But day 4, was a turning point for me and Stephanie helping me all the way. I just changed my mind on that day and I knew that I was strong enough to do it with God's help and I got through it."
"When she first got here, she was kind of a mess. But she decided she was going to do this and after a few days, she really started kicking it into gear. And when she did that she just took off from there," said Shaun Fant, the Director of Rehab services at the Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation Center, says the staff picked Carey to receive the award because of how unique her story is.
"Carey's been able to overcome her deficits. She's been able to face her demons. She's been able to just progress in an incredible manner. She's out there going back into what she's loving. She represents all that we should aspire to be able to do which is to see where we are, have a goal, and be able to attain those goals."
Woessner says one of her goals was to get back into her classroom, and she has done that. She is very thankful for the support she received from the staff, and from her family. She says her time in the rehab center taught her something very important about herself.
"I learned how strong I actually am. And I learned that I can pretty much get through anything. And I know that I have God on my side and I can do it."
In other health news, the 12th annual Spirit of Survival kicks-off on Saturday, September 30th with a new event-- a bike ride of different distances for the whole family to enjoy and then on Sunday, October 1st, run or walk in any of the five Spirit of Survival race events. For more information and to register please visit spiritofsurvival.com.
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