Idaho native Kristi Lund was enjoying a summer trip to California when a last-minute outing changed her vacation plans for the worse. The athletic, high school PE teacher and varsity volleyball coach went to a trampoline fun-zone with some friends. She ended up landing wrong and rupturing the patella tendons on both her knees and tearing the connective tissue around both knee caps.
"As soon as I was in the air, I knew that both knees had been torn, and after I landed I realized that both kneecaps were misplaced," Lund says. "I couldn't move and was physically unable to straighten my knees. It was the worst pain I've ever been through in my life."
Lund was taken by ambulance to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where she underwent surgery to repair both knees. After spending 10 days in the hospital, she was referred to Sutter Rehabilitation Institute.
This once active three-sport, college athlete and outdoor enthusiast, was now unable to even walk. With both knees in braces, Lund needed to learn basic skills all over again. Institute therapists taught Lund how to transfer from her bed to a wheelchair, how to stand up in a walker, how to shower, how to use the bathroom, and they used parallel bars to teach her how to take steps again.
"My legs were locked in a straight position for six weeks, so the therapists helped me figure out how I was going to maneuver in a wheelchair/walker to perform daily activities," Lund says. "They were so thorough; they even set up cones in the rehab gym modeled after my home floor plan so I could learn how to move around in my wheelchair once I got home."
Lund says all the staff at the Institute was helpful in her recovery, and Nichole Karavlan, a Community Relations Coordinator at the Institute, went above and beyond her duties to help out.
"Nichole went to bat for me. She visited me every day and helped me get into the rehab program," Lund says. "She was amazing."
Now, three months later, Lund is back in Idaho and continues to improve and gain her strength back each day. She returned to teaching PE and coaching the varsity volleyball team. She is now walking without a walker, driving, and wearing small athletic braces to provide stability as she transitions back to normal walking. Lund says she's made a lot of progress since leaving the Institute and that she couldn't have had the recovery she needed without it.
"I wouldn't have known how to function at home without having received help from Sutter Rehabilitation Institute." Lund says.