At 25, after a night spent celebrating her birthday, Rhonda Reese’s life changed irrevocably - and forever. A horrific auto accident on her way home that evening left the driver dead - and Rhonda paralyzed from the neck down.
The impact of the situation was overwhelming for her - without the use of her legs or arms, Rhonda would require round-the-clock care for the rest of her life. Initially, her mother provided most of this - helping Rhonda transition into a world dependent upon high-tech wheelchairs, harnesses, and respirators.
In the years that followed, Rhonda made tremendous progress, graduating from a respirator, and learning to use assistive technology to help her access her computer – and start an online public awareness campaign against drunk driving.
A little less than a decade ago, Donna faced an additional transition, when her mother passed away. Donna turned to Interim HealthCare – and CNA Rachel Poorman – for help.
Today, more than eight years into their relationship, Donna and Rachel work together as a well-practiced team – and regard each other as close friends and confidants.
Rachel helps Rhonda with virtually every task and activity that comes with daily living – from getting her out of her specially made bed in the morning via an overhead harness device, to helping with hygiene and meals. In addition, Rachel and Rhonda regularly make car trips out into the community for shopping, meals and recreation – even bowling.
For CNA Rachel, being part of the Interim HealthCare team is a family tradition, having followed both her sister and cousin into the company. She not only finds the work itself rewarding – she believes that her relationship with Rhonda gives her a unique perspective into how life is looked at – and how it’s lived. She’s learned how to “not sweat the small stuff,” as she says. Rachel understands - better than most folks – the kinds of challenges that life can offer, and the importance a positive outlook can make.
Rhonda has set up a website www.thinkbeforeyoudrink.net to share her story with others in hope that they will better understand and consider the consequences of drinking and driving.