Posted by Divya Sathyanarayanan

Joshua Barsky, 25, is STEM major student at University of California, Santa Cruz. He enjoys going to college and was excited about his future career. All that changed when he met with a traumatic car accident this year, causing severe head and spinal injuries.

“It was a near fatal accident and I suffered facial hematoma, spinal injuries, and a broken collar bone,” says Joshua, as he recalls the dreadful accident. After undergoing a surgery at a nearby hospital, Joshua was transferred to CHA HPMC to receive specialized treatment at our Acute Rehab. While Joshua’s recovery was gradual due to the extent of his injuries, he was highly motivated and focused on regaining the ability to walk.

Our interdisciplinary team of health care professionals—doctors, nurses, and therapists—created a personalized treatment plan for Joshua. “I’d never heard of this hospital before and didn’t know what to expect at first. The rehab has a very positive healing environment and the nurses and doctors have a positive attitude towards all patients. They motivate me to keep going and explain things in a way that I can easily understand,” he says, adding that he has built a strong rapport with our therapists during his daily therapy sessions.

CHA HPMC’s rehabilitation unit offers a specialized gym with exercise and conditioning equipment like state-of-the-art body weight support systems, balance balls, dumbbells, and mobility tools like stairs and parallel bars, among others. Each patient receives three hours of daily therapy including physical, occupational, and speech therapy depending on their needs.

Our occupation therapists helped Joshua perform daily activities such as getting out of bed, taking a shower and using the restroom without assistance. In physical therapy, Joshua used mobility tools like stairs and parallel bars to slowly walk and also learned how to get in and out of cars.

During his hospital stay, Joshua celebrated a momentous occasion — turning 25 years old. The Acute Rehab nursing staff celebrated his birthday and rejoiced as he gradually made progress and sat upright again. “It was an unexpected birthday celebration. The nurses brought me cake and sang birthday song. I will remember this birthday celebration my entire life,” he says, smiling.

Joshua is excited to get back to college and is grateful to our Acute Rehab team for their compassionate care and support in helping him get back on his feet.
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