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Madonna connecting patients with family during recovery

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals is using virtual services to keep families connect during social distancing.
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals is using virtual services to keep families connect during social distancing.(KOLNKGIN)
Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 7:36 PM CDT
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Two months ago we hardly used Zoom, FaceTime and Skype, but now they're an every day necessity. One area hospital is using it to keep families connect during social distancing.

Samantha Parmer has spent the last five weeks at Madonna learning to regain her strength and coordination.

Parmer was in a car accident in April that gave her a traumatic brain injury, multiple brain bleeds and left her unconscious and on a ventilator.

According to her mom none of the people in the car were wearing seatbelts.

"That's all I really know," said Samantha Parmer. "It (car) rolled forward, hit a pole and bounced back up on the road, and landed on the tires."

"We tell her all the time that she's a miracle," said Norma Parmer, Samantha's mother.

Parmer's family is back home in New Virginia, Iowa, but she's not recovering alone. They get to participate in her therapy sessions through virtual services.

"It's hard not being able to be with her," said Norma Parmer. "Especially at the beginning it was really hard, but it's nice they have these Zoom sessions we can sit in on once a week."

Being able to watch her on the therapy playground, in Madonna's hallways and even in Samantha's room it's like her family isn't more than three hours away.

"It's not as good as being there, but under the circumstances I'll take anything I can get," said Blaine Parmer, Samantha's dad.

They say she's making great progress too.

"She has made amazingly fast progress," said Sarah Economides, Madonna Physical Therapist. "She's done such a good job had such a positive attitude throughout everything. She's a hard worker."

Next week Samantha and her mom are hopefully going to the outpatient program in Omaha. That program should be 4-6 weeks, but her therapists think she won't need the whole time because of the progress she's already made.

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