Sharyl Sieh, a retired missionary, is home and walking again thanks to rehabilitation.
Sharyl had been taking care of her husband, Dennis, at home, when she began having her own health issues in April 2021. She had to have bypass surgery and then developed COVID-19. She was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome and came to Life Care Center of Cleveland, Tennessee, in December. She had a lot of pain in both of her feet and was totally dependent on her caregivers for mobility and daily tasks like bathing, dressing and grooming.
“When I came, I couldn’t sit up, couldn’t even push a button,” Sharyl remembered.
Physical and occupational therapists evaluated Sharyl and asked her what her goals were.
“I am going to walk out of here,” Sharyl answered.
Sharyl had her work cut out for her to regain her strength and independence, but the supportive rehab team was determined to do all they could to get her there. They worked with her on retraining in self-care, as well as strengthening exercises, balance and gait.
“It’s been a difficult journey, but she has been a hard worker,” said Anya White, assistant director of rehabilitation. “She would work through the pain when other people would give up.”
“I really enjoyed being in therapy and working with Anya and Jonathan (Wash, occupational therapy assistant) and getting myself stronger,” said Sharyl. “I am a person of faith, and I know that faith without works is dead, so I did my part. I would like to thank all the therapists here. I really appreciate their professionalism, their love for people and the care they give.”
Sharyl returned home on May 27, able to stand by herself, take care of most of her self-care skills and walk with a walker. Dennis has started outpatient therapy at Life Care Center of Cleveland to improve his own independence, and Sieh will be starting outpatient therapy as well to continue her progress in regaining more independence.
Sharyl has a lot of help surrounding her, from her nephew who built her a wheelchair ramp, to praying members of her church, to the fiancé of Lydia Clement, an occupational therapist at Life Care. Her fiancé, Hayden Henry, is a tech at Toyota of Cleveland and helped Sieh out with putting a wheelchair lift on her car.
Perhaps this is fitting for Sharyl and her husband, who worked in the villages of Burkina Faso helping in schools and hospitals.
“She took care of the world, and now the world is taking care of her,” said White.
Sharyl looks forward to getting back to church.