Scott’s Long Recovery at Northeast Rehab Salem

Scott slipped into a coma after an accidental overdose of an opiate medication and there appeared to be little hope for a return to normalcy. Then, Scott came to Northeast Rehab and over the course of three months, he rebuilt his life.

overdose recovery

“We have been treating Scott for an extremely rare complication of severe anoxic brain injury called post-hypoxic leukencephalopathy.

It’s important to his wife, Sherri, that I make note that Scott is yet another victim of our current opiate epidemic. His anoxic brain injury was due to an accidental opiate overdose.

When he arrived on his first day of rehabilitation, Scott was in a coma. He was not able to perform any activities on his own, or follow commands.

He required my team to provide interdisciplinary coma stimulation to wake up.  This type of care required medication trials, meticulous nursing care. As well as specialized techniques with physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Rehabilitation dieticians created Scott’s nutrition plan. Our interdisciplinary Brace Clinic developed specialty braces.

Scott’s Medical Team monitored with validated scales to determine when he was emerging from coma and starting to make new memories.

In addition, due to the rarity of the condition and the severity of his medical status, it was also necessary to consider experimental treatments. Truthfully, the most important members of the treatment team were from Scott’s incredible family.  They have been amazing advocates for his recovery and willing to try anything. As well as so kind and thoughtful to every member of the treatment team.

Once Scott emerged from coma, he became the greatest driving force of progress with his rehabilitation.  He is extremely motivated, and kept the momentum of his rehabilitation going with a combination of grit, hard work, and humor.

He is an incredible person and it’s obvious to all of us that he and his family are truly courageous.

We will miss him greatly, but it is time for him to move on to bigger goals of living at home and reintegrating into life outside of hospitals.  We are so proud of him and his amazing family, and we wish them the absolute best.

I will continue to follow him in my outpatient clinic as he transitions his therapy team from inpatient, to home, to outpatient therapies.

It is an honor to be his brain injury rehabilitation doctor, and I am looking forward to seeing how Scott continues to recover, and find for himself what many of my patients call their “new normal”, or “Scott 2.0”.” – Dr. Caroline Sizer, Director of Northeast Rehab’s Brain Injury Recovery Program.