Hagerstown woman recovers after spending more than a decade in a wheelchair

by: Erica Huckaby

Posted: Updated:

 

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– One hot summer day in August, Shirley Strouth was cleaning her kitchen when she accidentally fell, ever since then her life was changed forever.

“I’ve got a steel plate in my leg and I broke my leg in four places,” said Strouth.

Strouth has been using a wheelchair for over a decade. She has seen a total number of 15 doctors who all told her the same thing, that she would not be able to walk again.

She began to feel depressed and felt like her doctors didn’t care, that is until she found the right doctor.

“It’s always good to have a second or third opinion — in this case a 16th opinion — but she didn’t give up and kept on trying and perseverance is very important for a patient that is faced with medical problems like this,” said Dr. Daniel Michaels of Reconstructive Foot and Ankle Institute.

After the accident, Strouth’s foot was completely curled up and she couldn’t stand on it at all, after seven surgeries with Dr. Michaels, her foot flattened out, allowing her to walk again.

“If people are told that you can’t walk or you can’t do something you need to keep looking for a doctor who is trained and can give people hope. What we do is we nourish people and build people up instead of breaking them down,” said Dr. Michaels.

When asked what kept Strouth motivated throughout the pain and rehabilitation process she answered simply, her grandchildren. She wanted to go outside and play with them, cook big meals and be actively involved more in their everyday life.

Now she is up and walking again and plans to enjoy this Halloween with her grandchildren as well as cook a big meal for her family for the holidays.

Strouth is living proof that with perseverance, patience and the right doctor people who are facing similar problems have hope.

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