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Why Kristian Hass Chose Hunt Regional for Her Rehabilitation Therapy

Kristian Hass grew up with cardiomyopathy – a chronic disease of the heart muscle. Despite that, she found herself at the emergency room at Hunt Regional Medical Center because of a brain tumor.

It was there that the CT scan found the tumor. To save Kristian precious time, the emergency department physician – Dr. R. Lynn Rae – transferred her to Baylor University Medical Center in downtown Dallas so that she could get an appointment with the best neurosurgeon sooner.

That’s where Kristian learned more about her tumor – how it was a non-cancerous (benign) meningioma that may have been present since she was a child, but only recently began growing, causing vision problems and the seizure that sent her to the ER.

Kristian went through surgery to remove the tumor and recovered in the hospital for a few weeks. When she was walking and talking, doctors sent her home. Not long after arriving home, Kristian suffered a stroke and she was once again rushed to the ER and transferred to Baylor. The stroke affected her speech, ability to walk and even swallow. She had to completely start over and begin stroke rehabilitation therapy to learn to walk, talk and swallow again.

“Basically when you have a stroke, you have to relearn everything,” Kristian said. “I had a swallowing disability, so I had to do rehab for speech and for swallowing because you can choke.”

Not long after her rehab at Baylor began, there was a problem with her insurance coverage that forced her to explore other healthcare facilities. It didn’t take long for Kristian to come back home to Hunt Regional.

She spent one month on the seventh floor of Hunt Regional working with a team of doctors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, techs, student therapists in training and Hunt Regional’s lymphedema specialist to learn how to walk and complete everyday tasks again.

“They never once made me feel less than respected,” Kristian said. “When I needed help with something that was kind of embarrassing, I never had to worry about running into someone in the hallway. They were great encouragers.”

Kristian’s team used both traditional rehab therapy tactics in conjunction with games to help build strength and get the rehab patients working together.

Hunt Regional’s lymphedema specialist, Jennifer Killough, provided a crucial part of Kristian’s recovery: lymphedema treatment. Lymphedema is the inability of the lymphatic system to transport fluid, which can happen as the result of a stroke. For Kristian, the stroke left the left side of her body swelling and in pain due to lymphedema. Her therapy with Dr. Killough used a technique called manual lymph drainage that helped to move the lymph fluid.

This, along with many other tactics and therapies, allowed Kristian to return home to her husband and daughter.

“In that one month I was up on the seventh floor, I learned more about myself and came to a place where I could actually walk again,” she said.

Learn more about stroke treatment or other rehabilitation services offered at Hunt Regional Medical Center today.

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