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Hospital  >  Care Programs  >  St. John's Rehab Program  >  Patients and visitors  >  Patient Stories  >  Francesca
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Francesca

Francesca gets back to gardening
"I just wanted my independence back."

- Francesca

Francesca’s victory: regaining her freedom

Between family gatherings, gardening and involvement in her parish, Francesca led a busy life. When doctors discovered that a tumour was causing dangerous swelling and pressure on her brain, she underwent surgery to remove the growth. Though successful, the operation left Francesca very weak on the right side of her body. No longer able to walk or perform previously simple tasks, Francesca came to the one-of-a-kind oncology rehabilitation program at St. John's Rehab.

Historically, cancer survivors were sent home directly following acute care and expected to cope with the life-changing effects of cancer on their own. For patients like Francesca, the oncology rehabilitation program at St. John's Rehab meets the unique needs of cancer recovery. We match patients with teams of expert rehabilitation professionals to develop customized treatment plans. We provide coaching and support to help people overcome both the fear and the physical energy loss that cancer brings. This focused, short-stay program provides cancer survivors with the care and confidence needed to get back to their lives.

With the help of her highly skilled team that included a physiotherapist, an occupational therapist, nurses, physicians and a spiritual care provider, Francesca's rehabilitation was a success. Only three weeks into her time at St. John's Rehab, she took her first unassisted step. The determined grandmother of four never lost hope and is elated with her quick recovery.

At one time, Francesca wondered if her life would ever feel normal again. Today, she's busy getting back to the things that matter to her the most.