Because of Siskin Hospital, I can enjoy the outdoors

September 14, 2020

They say a dog is man’s best friend. For Wayne Hackney, his three Dachshunds likely saved his life.

Wayne was home battling the flu with his three faithful companions when they became particularly pesky, uncharacteristically jumping up and repeatedly getting in his face. Wayne would push them away, but they would come right back. Taking their persistence as a sign he should seek help, he drove himself to the ER, barely making it to the door before collapsing inside.

Wayne spent the next eight days in ICU in a medically-induced coma. During that time, he also suffered a stroke and kidney and lung failure. When he awoke, he was bewildered to learn he had narrowly escaped death and would need rehabilitation to be able to walk or take care of himself again. Having heard the amazing “I Can” stories of previous patients, he immediately chose Siskin Hospital.

He arrived feeling helpless: numb, unable to move, suffering from extreme dizziness, and barely able to talk. But the very next day his therapists had him out of bed and sitting in chair. Their expert care, along with the devotion of his nurses and physicians, quickly alleviated all his fears and apprehension. His entire rehab team was by his side every day, cheering him on, never letting him give up.

Over the next four weeks, Wayne’s stamina and confidence grew with every progress. He’d always felt that nothing worthwhile is easy, and with determination pressed forward to accomplish the tasks his therapists gave him. Soon they noticed that during conversations about their pets, Wayne always did twice as much in therapy. This camaraderie and encouragement kept him focused and moving forward.

The day came when his therapist brought a walker for his therapy session, and Wayne told her he wanted to walk by himself. To the amazement of both, he did just that, holding her hand and taking one step after another. He knew then it wouldn’t be long until he could return home to his three beloved dogs, his best friends . . . and life savers. He credits them with saving his life, but Siskin Hospital with helping him feel alive again.

“Because of Siskin Hospital,” says Wayne, “I can enjoy the outdoors with my dogs.”