Stephanie C. Brand thought the world was ending for her when she had to enter rehabilitation after a brief stint in the hospital. Two weeks later, she discovered it was just beginning.

“I didn’t want to go, I didn’t want to go. I wanted to go home. I was scared to death,” Brand said, looking out Shorehaven’s rehab room on the eve of her release. “And when I got here, it all changed for me… Staff immediately put me at ease. They told me they were going to get me out of here in two weeks, and that we were a team to make that happen.”

Brand said staff calmed her, nurtured her, and most importantly, “built up my belief in myself.” “Everybody looked in on me. From the first shift in the morning to the last at night, everyone cared for me. I think we really learned from each other.”

Sight impaired and feeling vulnerable, Brand said it was Shorehaven staff who “brought me up to speed.” While they provided therapies, dressing, cleaning, bathing, coaching and “wonderful meals,” “They really did more. They were not only understanding, patient and wildly compassionate, they brought knowledge and humor to me.”

Her Shorehaven stint was a whirlwind of exercise, Thermotub session laughs, Bingo games and jigsaw puzzles. “And here, I knew how stressful the COVID situation was for them, how stressful arrangements at home must be for them, and they came to work to help me. Whether it was the new recruits or the seasoned long-timers, staff came to work to help me.”

Through Crazy Hair Days to the trishaw ice-cream bar delivery, the live morning show and happy hours, Brand said staff “turned a heavy time into a hope-filled one.”

“Staff got me on my feet and I’m out this door tomorrow,” she smiled. “I will never, ever be able to thank them enough. But I hope I just did.”