Clifton 19-year-old bares mettle after battle with rare neurological condition
CLIFTON, Kan. (WIBW) - A 19-year-old cook in Clifton has returned to the kitchen after his battle with a rare neurological condition almost stole his independence.
Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals says one Kansas family has much to be thankful for this week as Thanksgiving fast approaches. On Friday, Nov. 17, Gunnar Sorell, 19, made his return to the kitchen of his family’s restaurant, Tailgaters Steakhouse at 410 Parallel St. in Clifton, just in time for the holidays.
The health network said Sorell is recovering from Guillian-Barré Syndrome, a rare neurological condition that causes the body’s immune system to attack the nerves. This causes rapid-onset muscle weakness.
After Sorell was treated at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka, he came to Madonna Rehabilitation as he continued to experience loss of function in his muscles and weakness. However, he was determined to retain his body and brain to work together.
With specialized technology, Madonna said Sorell made tremendous progress in his arm and leg movement and repetition helped him re-map his neurological pathways. After 8 weeks, he transitioned from the inpatient program to its intense outpatient rehabilitation program. He continued to hone his fine motor skills and rebuild his strength and stamina.
Now, the rehabilitation experts said Sorell is back at home and has regained his independence. His recovery came to the suppose of no one on his care team.
“He just had an athletic background, and he had plans to go on to a technical college here in the next few months,” Grant Baker, OTD, OTR/L, Madonna occupational therapist, said. “He really wanted to get back to that and be able to help out his family business. And so he kind of channeled all that and motivated himself to work hard.”
Meanwhile, Sorell said he is grateful for the care he received from his team.
“Having your care team be so motivated and uplifting, it helped a lot,” Sorell noted. “To my team and my nurses, I would just say thanks because everyone was great.”
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