T'Shera's Story

T'Shera Adderley smiles after rehabilitation.

T’Shera Adderley was enjoying life and work in the Bahamas when she began experiencing a tingling sensation in her fingertips and toes. When the tingling escalated to the point where the 26-year-old was unable to perform basic tasks, move or breathe independently, she was hospitalized.

T’Shera was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare disorder where the body’s immune system attacks the nerves. Intubated for two weeks to support her breathing, she underwent treatment with human antibodies delivered intravenously. This would re-set her immune system. Following her treatment, T’Shera slowly regained strength, was able to breathe on her own again and had slight movement in her extremities. After a month, T’Shera’s medical team recommended transferring to a rehabilitation hospital for more intense rehabilitation. For that, she choose West Gables Rehabilitation Hospital.

Upon admission, T’Shera had some movement in her arms and legs but was still unable to walk. GBS had also taken a toll on her fine motor skills and she struggled to complete simple tasks like brushing her teeth and hair, getting dressed or using the restroom. T’Shera’s goal was to handle those smaller tasks and walk again.  Her physician-led rehabilitation team evaluated her and developed a personalized treatment plan.

Physical therapy (PT) started by helping T’Shera regain her sitting balance through repeated core exercises in her bed. Next they shifted to exercises that would strengthen her arms and legs.

The first time T’Shera rose from her wheelchair to the parallel bars, she felt her sense of fear being replaced by pure exhilaration at having achieved her first milestone. After that, she was driven by a renewed sense of motivation and quickly began to regain strength. Within two weeks, she was strong enough to use a rolling walker.

Meantime, occupational therapy (OT) worked with T’Shera to improve her fine motor skills through standing activities like sorting objects on a table top. With her gains in strength and mobility and through repeated practice, T’Shera was able to bathe independently without sitting down on a shower chair. OT placed curbs in her path for navigation practice with her rolling walker. After a month, T’Shera no longer required her rolling walker and moved to practicing getting in and out of the car, walking on uneven surfaces and managing steps. She also practiced carrying bags and objects while walking to prepare her for returning to daily life.

Recreational therapy became a vital outlet throughout T’Shera’s rehabilitation. It allowed her to express herself. She processed her journey through journaling, painting and engaging in other creative and outdoor activities. All of them allowed her to reflect on her challenges and accomplishments. She embraced her passions, and the therapeutic process became a source of self-discovery and empowerment. T’Shera also prepared for her return to work by practicing writing and typing.

T’Shera’s family and friends both surrounded and prayed over her throughout her hospitalization. While her family in the Bahamas couldn’t visit, she received many supportive calls and texts throughout her stay. After five weeks of intense inpatient rehabilitation, T’Shera was able to walk out of the hospital and return home. All of her family and friends rejoiced.

T’Shera plans to continue her rehab with outpatient therapy. Her parting message to others facing similar challenges: "Healing is a mental journey as much as a physical one. Believe in yourself and your abilities, and you can conquer anything."