Olga A.

Olga sat in the emergency room wondering what was happening to her. Her symptoms came on gradually, but they had become noticeably worse in the past two weeks. Progressive weakness. Balance and gait issues. Memory loss. At first, Olga chalked it up to her age, but now she wasn’t so sure.

A few weeks back, Olga’s daughter, Shelly, began asking her questions. Shelly thought a fall or other injury would explain the shuffling and short steps her mother was taking. “No, I didn’t fall, but I think it’s arthritis,” Olga told her daughter. “It’s just a part of aging.”

Olga’s family continued asking questions several days later. They observed her closely. When they noticed Olga’s memory loss, they brought her to Kaiser Medical Center in Fresno. Shelly and her daughter, Jessica, a physical therapy student, knew Olga needed medical attention for her progressing symptoms.

Upon arrival at the emergency room, doctors examined Olga and performed a CT scan and MRI. The results provided an explanation for the increased cranial pressure causing her symptoms. Olga had an acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor in the inner ear leading to the brain.

The physicians informed Olga’s family of her diagnosis. Treatment involved the placement of a device called a ventriculoperitoneal (VP) shunt. The shunt would help alleviate Olga’s symptoms. With no complications, Olga could continue her recovery at San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital after surgery. Approximately a week later, Olga transferred to SJVRH.

“I made a lot of progress from my first day all the way until the day I was going home,” recalled Olga.

In each therapy session Olga completed she found value. Seeing Olga work with her therapists encouraged her family. They recalled noticing a difference in how she looked, moved, and felt each day.

“We are so thankful for everyone,” stated Shelly. “From the therapy staff, nursing staff, case managers, as well as the folks who kept the hospital so clean.”

“I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everyone who helped me get back home and back to my life,” Olga added. “Thank you for getting me better and back to my family.”