Admission: Fall 1991
Discharge: Summer 1992
Eileen Doyle, 48, has never been one to let challenges interfere with her life. After suffering an aneurysm at home in the summer of 1989, she spent weeks in the intensive care unit, but refused to give up.
"My parents were initially told that I wouldn't live and I was given my Last Rites," Eileen explains. "I wasn't ready to give up and I fought hard to get better."
After receiving rehabilitation at a couple different facilities in the Midwest, Eileen and her family heard about a newly formed rehab center in Ankeny. In 1991, Eileen became the fifth person ever admitted to On With Life's Post-Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation program.
"Even though I don't remember a lot of that time, I do remember how helpful my therapists were in helping me relearn how to walk, talk and eat," Eileen stated. "Even today my memory keeps getting better. They helped give me my life back."
Today, Eileen is an important part of the On With Life family, always advocating for other brain injury survivors and looking for ways that she can give back. In 1997, Eileen became the first person ever served in the On With Life Supported Community Living program and in 2005, was the first to move into the independent living Apartments of OWL Creek, where she's well known as the social chair - calling into radio station to wish others a happy birthday.
"I like to tell other brain injury survivors to treat each day as a new day," Eileen said. "The journey to recovery isn't easy, but if I can help even one person, then it was time well spent."