An Interview with Program Director: Myke Slinker
Program Director, Myke Slinker of the Neuro Rehab Care (of Hammond Louisiana) recently planted a memorial tree with her team. This tree was planted to honor the life of Bruce Altmeyer, a former patient in the Hammond, Louisiana facility.
"Bruce lived at Neuro Rehab Care with a traumatic brain injury. We remember Bruce as the life of the party! He was funny, friendly and outgoing. His death was very unexpected to us. He was in the hospital for over one month, but we truly believed he would be okay and come home."
Myke is a phenomenal Program Director finding creative supportive ways to bring the Hammond NRC family together. Slinker takes the grieving process very seriously at Neuro Rehab Care, providing many means of support for staff and patients. Slinker says that when she looks at the memorial tree, her favorite memory comes to mind. Slinker imagines Bruce's smile and when she'd watch him dance.
Slinker says that in the NRC community, patients are given the opportunity to talk through their feelings and memories with staff or one another, and/or with NRC's Neuro-psychologist. They find beautiful ways to continue expressing support for each other, like gathering for a balloon release. Together, Bruce's friends (NRC's patients) are creating a picture frame and photo to gift to Bruce's wife, sharing their support for her as well. They are very excited to gift this to Bruce's wife, Deenna.
Slinker shared how things are going at NRC since the grandiose loss.
"We do talk about Bruce, remembering the good times we, patients and staff, had with him. Sharing these memories keep his memory alive! We remember how he enjoyed the local restaurant Middendorf's. We remember him dancing at our parties, or how he liked to sit at Sonic and eat so he could see the pretty girls! he called all staff, "my mam". One of our patients, J.L. shared a favorite memory, and that was when Bruce would sing."
I spoke with Myke about the Hammond community. I wondered just how they learned from this situation of standing grief from such a heavy loss. Myke went on to tell me that a strong family lives and works at Neuro Rehab Care. There, they do their best to keep a positive environment promoting a passion for living. She said that the staff is available to their patients 24/7, even when the staff are hurting, they do their best not to let the patients see that hurt, but they cope with that hurt together and stand strong for the patients.
From what I learned about Neuro Rehab Care in Hammond, Louisiana, I now know this is a community stronger than most. This is a community to strive to resemble. This is a company where coworkers become family and with the patients. They would do anything for one another.
May you know the man, Bruce, through their eyes and beautiful memories. May you learn that in time of need, Neuro Rehab Care, Hammond is a safe, supportive, strong and brilliant community for you and your family.