Hard work that pays off

rehab tasha jordan-dennis“I'll do whatever it takes to go home." -Patient Tasha Jordan-Dennis with daughter, Zaria

Day 3: Emory Rehabilitation Hospital

Tasha Jordan-Dennis remembers telling her husband her nose was so stuffy that it hurt. He had smiled, given her a hug, and took over getting five-year old daughter Zaria ready for school. Then Jordan-Dennis collapsed.

The first ambulance got her to a nearby hospital, where doctors recognized that blood was hemorrhaging into her brain, destroying vital tissue. She was airlifted to Emory University Hospital and its experts in aneurysms.

Following brain surgery, Jordan-Dennis remained unconscious in Emory's neuro-ICU for more than a month. When she came to, she tried to say, “I want to go home,” but no words came out. She was moved across the street to Emory Rehabilitation Hospital.

Over the next days, as her mind cleared, she grew determined. Her own mother had suffered an aneurysm in her early 30s, leaving Jordan-Dennis motherless at the same age as Zaria. I'm not going to do that to my little girl, she thought. I'll do whatever it takes to go home.

And she did. For more than a month, she met daily with physiatrist Samuel Milton. Therapists—physical, occupational, speech, and recreational—each worked with her for at least an hour six days a week.

Although both she and husband Letron had full-time jobs, she in pre-kindergarten, he as a forklift operator, they had no insurance. Emory Rehabilitation Hospital, like Emory University Hospital, wrote off tens of thousands of dollars in costs. Two months after her collapse, Jordan-Dennis was able to go home, returning to Emory Rehab's outpatient center several days a week, her father, husband, and sister changing their work schedules to bring her. One day before she was discharged from care in April, she brought her daughter with her. Zaria told friends she went to see the place where her mother “worked.”  

It's hard work that is paying off.

The patient was determined that her daughter wouldn't have to go through what she had when her own mother died young from the same malformation that had caused her own aneurysm.