Chandell Rasmussen’s enthusiasm is visible when she describes the positive and long-lasting impact that her care team members at North Idaho Advanced Care Hospital (NIACH) and Rehabilitation Hospital of the Northwest (RHN) have had on her life.
In her mid 20s, Chandell was diagnosed with a lung disease that causes inflammation and scarring (fibrosis) of the lungs. Prior to the diagnosis, Chandell attended college and was successful in her career as a Production Lead for Schweitzer Engineering.
Now at 27 years old, her condition significantly worsened after a surgical biopsy of her lung. Chandell went into respiratory arrest, was intubated, and eventually was in a coma and on life support. She transferred from a local hospital to NIACH and required a ventilator to help her breathe.
Thanks to the expertise and collaboration of the respiratory-certified team members at NIACH, Chandell was weaned from the ventilator and could breathe on her own again after just 2 ½ weeks.
Chandell’s condition continued to improve. She was transferred to RHN when she was well enough to tolerate the required 15 hours/week of therapy provided by the staff.
Chandell laughs as she remembers the trepidation she felt when she learned how much therapy she would be doing. “I was thinking that it would be all at once, but it wasn’t like that at all – they plan it so well,” she says. “The therapists were so nice and kind, and were always worried about me. They let us pick the music in the gym so you could jam out to whatever you wanted to hear.”
Chandell especially enjoyed the therapy pool, recalling how the water helped with her overall recovery. “I couldn’t even move, so it was really cool that the hospital had a pool lift to put me in the water,” Chandell says. “I could actually move when I was in the water, and that was one of my favorite things.”
Chandell’s father also had a positive experience. “Therapists Eric, Jeremiah, Janethe, Bella, and Grace made me – as a parent – feel 100% safe,” he says. “I knew Chandell was in the best hands. They made me feel at home and really comfortable, and I ended up falling in love with every one of those individuals.”
When asked about her recovery goals, Chandell says she wanted to walk out of the hospital to go home and eat a plate of ribs. She happily reports that after therapies and treatment at RHN, she did both.