John Bordalo was your typical 19 year old man, who enjoyed various athletic activities. On February 9, 2013, a day before he was enlisted to enter into the army, he came home from a day of football and surfing feeling exhausted and not being able to urinate. Like most of us, he just thought he was dehydrated so he drank more water but hours later his symptoms persisted. He went to an emergency center where they conducted various tests. He also complained of back pain and an inability to move his legs. This was thought to probably be from some medication he had been given. He went home and when he awoke the following morning, he still could not feel his legs. He then went to Northwest Medical Center and after an MRI he was diagnosed with transverse myelitis.
Transverse myelitis is a neurological disorder caused by inflammation across the spinal cord. Symptoms of transverse myelitis include a loss of spinal cord function over several hours to several weeks. What usually begins as a sudden onset of lower back pain, muscle weakness, or abnormal sensations in the toes and feet can rapidly progress to more severe symptoms, including paralysis, urinary retention, and loss of bowel control. Transverse myelitis occurs in adults and children, in both genders, and in all ethnicities. Researchers are uncertain of the exact causes of transverse myelitis, but it often develops following viral infections.
John was admitted to St. Anthony’s Rehabilitation Hospital as a paraplegic. With intensive rehabilitation including electrical stimulation and aquatics, John has made a miraculous recovery. “John is on the road to full recovery, he is a very determined young man” states Jorge Casauay, Director of Rehabilitation at St. Anthony’s Rehabilitation Hospital. “I consider him one of our best success stories!” After only three weeks of rehabilitation from Jennifer Beasley, PT, Jenna Denning, PT and Taneshia Lightfoot, OT, John will be walking out the door to go home. “The staff and services at St. Anthony’s Rehabilitation Hospital are truly amazing. With the help from the therapists and the aquatic center, I have been given my legs and my life back.”
John took part in the financial assistance program that Catholic Health Services provides to the community. Catholic Health Services has contributed over $11 million in community benefit in the fiscal year 2012 to the communities it serves in Broward and Miami-Dade counties in south Florida. John will continue his outpatient rehabilitation at St. Anthony’s and is taking his recovery “day by day”.
St. Anthony’s Rehabilitation Hospital, part of Catholic Health Services, is a free-standing, acute medical rehabilitation hospital in Lauderdale Lakes. The hospital consistently achieves exceptionally high outcomes and according to the Uniform Data Systems annual report, it is presently ranked in the top 7% of 800 participating rehabilitation hospitals in nationwide.