Brain Injury Rehabilitation Specialists
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Michelle Lara

A Passion Returned

Admission: September 2009
Discharge: February 2010

Michelle Lara had a strict work-out routine of waking up at each morning to run five miles and complete 125 push-ups before heading to work as an operating room nurse. That routine changed in 2009 when she was a non-helmeted passenger on a motorcycle that was rear-ended by a car. Michelle suffered a skull fracture and required an emergency craniotomy to remove her right temporal lobe, which left her with left-side paralysis and made it very unlikely she would be able to work again. 

"It might seem funny, but one of the most devastating things for me after the accident was wondering how I would do push-ups again," said Michelle.

Michelle credits the excellent therapy and nursing care during her five-month stay at On With Life with giving her the ability to continue her love of physical activity. 

"The nursing and therapy staff listened to what was important to me and what I wanted to get back to," said Michelle. "It would have been easy to just lay there and wonder what I would do, but I wanted to enjoy life."

Since her accident, Michelle has purchased a three-wheeled bike and has already logged more than 15,000 miles on it. In addition to her new exercise routine, Michelle has returned to school and received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in nursing and is currently pursuing her doctorate in nursing practice with the hopes of teaching nursing to the
next generation. 

"I can teach them things they can't learn in a book. Be empathetic and listen to your patient, not only with your ears, but  with your heart," said Michelle. "The staff at On With Life are true examples of this."