Janice Mittelstadt

What began as a peaceful new chapter in Janice Mittlestadt’s life turned into an unexpected journey she wasn’t prepared to make. Having recently moved into their dream retirement house, Janice and her husband enjoyed spending their days getting to know their new neighbors and making their new house their forever home.


Because of the extra activity, Janice didn’t think much of it when she began experiencing back pain. She assumed it was just an injury from gardening and wrote it off. But after three weeks of pain and doctor’s appointments, Janice wound up hospitalized. She received a diagnosis of osteomyelitis in her mid-back, complicated by an epidural abscess and spinal cord compression. Janice underwent emergency back surgery to address the issues.


Soon after, Janice transferred to Vibra Hospital of Fargo, a critical care hospital. Critical care hospitals specialize in treating patients with very complex medical needs who require an extended period of time in a hospital setting for their recovery. When she arrived at Vibra, Janice couldn’t move her left leg and experienced weakness in her core muscles and arms. As a result, Janice required two people to help her sit up on the edge of her bed and was dependent for all mobility.


The Vibra staff got right to work with Janice on her recovery. Her faithful husband was by her side every day. He attended all of Janice’s therapy sessions and motivated her to accomplish more each day. Over the course of the following month, Janice made tremendous progress in her recovery. She began to roll and sit independently on the side of her bed. She regained movement in her left leg, practiced standing in the gait trainer, and could propel her wheelchair without assistance. Additionally, Janice could complete transfers from her bed to her chair using a slide board and some assistance.


The journey wasn’t easy for Janice, who experienced some pain and anxiety along the way. However, she remained excited about her therapy sessions and worked hard each day to accomplish something new. With her stay at Vibra complete, Janice discharged to an inpatient rehabilitation facility to continue improving her mobility in preparation for a safe return to her new house alongside her husband.