On August 1, 2019, I fell ill to viral meningitis. The viral meningitis was so severe that it caused an autoimmune disease known as Guillian Barre’s Syndrome with spinal cord involvement. The Guillian Barre’s Syndrome was a way of the body protecting itself, however, it left me as a paraplegic with bladder and bowel involvement. I have decreased to no sensation and movement below my waistline. After spending 98 days between the hospital and the acute rehabilitation hospital, it was time to go home. Unfortunately, I came home in a power chair with a lack of movement and ability to stand, walk and care for myself. I had a vibrant life before as a registered nurse and very active in my community and I want to return to that.<br></br>
<p>My hope is that this grant will assist me with transportation to get to and from therapy as well as to continue the therapy needed to one day return to serving my community.
Robert was also chosen to be the inaugural recipient of the Dhiren D. Desai grant because of his remarkable spirit and work ethic. His exercise specialist, Lauren Burch, says, “Robert has a strong will to continue to work hard on his road to recovery. He has displayed so much resilience and tenacity over the last year. He is supported by a community of close friends and family, and it is evident that he is just a loving and kind as the individuals surrounding him. The Dhiren D. Desai grant would mean so much to him as he continues on his path in rehabilitation.” Thank you Robert for helping to keep our friend’s memory alive.