Many of you may already know Neusa’s story. For those who don’t as well as for those who do know her, we’d like to share her story more in depth on this page.
Prior to the Accident
February, 2018, was the month Neusa was most looking forward to. She was planning for weeks for her trip to Brazil where she’d visit her mother, family, and many friends. There, she spent most of her vacation with her 81-year-old mother, making up for the time they spent away from each other after Neusa moved to the US 11 years ago. For the last two days of her trip, Neusa traveled south, to the city she lived in for many years and where her two daughters Maria and Caroline grew up. Following these last two days there, a couple of childhood friends then offered to drive her to the airport.
Towards the end of the 50-mile route to the airport, a car accident in which Neusa was a passenger changed her life for years to come. Neusa was taken to Hospital Regional do Oeste in Chapecó. The following weeks were difficult. None of us can understand the emotions she went through, from not feeling part of her body, lying flat on a bed for days, fearing surgery day, the uncertainty of tomorrow. Thankfully, friends and family drove hours to stay with her. All of her three sisters, mother, daughters and husband flew to the hospital so she would not be alone. Every night, through her poor sleep and near delirium, a family member kept her company. And every day, another person would take over the shift, never leaving Neusa unaccompanied. A week following her first spinal surgery, they were fortunate enough to secure a medical flight home through Global Jetcare.
Travel back to The United States
Upon arrival in Hartford, Neusa went directly to the ICU at Saint Francis. She went through a second spinal surgery, to better stabilize the neck. One of the main health concerns she had there was mainting a high enough blood pressure, a common acute problem for her type of spinal cord injury.
The months Neusa spent at the acute care rehabilitation hospital included a lot of learning, therapy, and adapting. She experienced more pain from therapy and difficulty regulating temperature in the first few weeks, both of which subsized towards the end of her stay. There, she and her family learned the necessities she would have on an everyday basis from getting her dressed to helping her with feeding. Nonetheless, support from friends, family, and church continued to pour, which she was very thankful for.