We are who we are because of our brain. It controls how we think, feel, act, and move. A brain injury can affect all of these areas. Brain injuries are complex, and they vary from person to person. In honor of Brain Injury Awareness Month, I’d like to share Michelle Siegle’s story. It has been about nine months since Michelle had an intracerebral hemorrhage, commonly known as a “brain bleed.” Since December 2016, she has been working diligently in physical, occupational, and speech therapy here at Magee. Her determination and hard work has been evident since day one.
Melissa Katz: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Michelle Siegele: My name is Michelle Siegle. I’m 49 years old and live in West Deptford, NJ with my husband, Ed, and two daughters, Megan and Melanie. I am an accountant at a small company in Collingswood, NJ. I enjoy cooking and people normally welcome my meals. I have been at Magee since December 2016 and plan to be discharged this month. I have enjoyed my time at Magee and have been pushed to learn a lot in a short amount of time.
MK: What brought you to Magee?
MS: I had a brain hemorrhage in May 2016 and was at another rehab center for a while before coming here.
MK: What was your first day of rehab like here at Magee? What goals have you achieved since then?
MS: It was very comprehensive. I took a lot of tests to recognize my cognitive and physical abilities. I am now able to stand and walk with assistance. I also am able to eat food and take medication by mouth.
MK: What advice would you give to someone who has a brain injury?
MS: If I can do it, anyone can do it. You need to be hard-working and have determination! The support from my family and friends has been very encouraging to me.
Did you know Magee was the first CARF accredited brain injury program in the United States? To learn more about the Brain Injury Program at Magee, click here.
Photo: Speech Therapist Melissa Katz and her patient Michelle Siegele