For over a year, Nelia Pontino dealt with numbness in her lower legs. Nelia’s symptoms progressed into paraparesis, requiring her to use a wheelchair. Confused at her condition, Nelia visited with her physician who concluded that she suffered from a herniated disc. This caused central canal stenosis and cord compression in her thoracic spine which required surgery.
Shortly after surgery, Nelia was accepted into Ballard Rehabilitation Hospital’s spinal cord injury program. At Ballard, Nelia received intensive rehabilitation therapy to increase her mobility and independence. She stated, “I am so grateful for the nurses and therapist at Ballard. They are kind and really motivated me to get stronger.”
Throughout her time working with Ballard’s interdisciplinary team, Nelia learned ways to manage her pain, direct her care, and build her strength and endurance. Her positive attitude and outlook on life helped her get through this tough time.
Nelia is extremely motivated to get back to her highest level of function. She set goals that she hopes to achieve by her graduation from the program. Success for Nelia means returning home to her family to continue to get back to better.