Recovering from a Head Injury with Inpatient Rehabilitation

How Otto Kromer Made the Most of Life’s Harvest

It was October 28, 2016, and for Sandusky natives Bonnie and Otto Kromer, what began as a typical day on their family farm would change their lives forever.

No one will ever know how it happened, why it happened or even when it happened. All they know is that someone found Otto Kromer with his legs buckled underneath him, cold and unconscious. He had fallen ten feet from the top of his farm combine. The person who found him called 9-1-1 and soon Otto’s wife, Bonnie, was alerted to the fall.

“Thank goodness for the person who found him,” says Bonnie. “We don’t know how long he lay there, but I knew immediately that this was a very bad situation.”

Bonnie arrived at the Firelands Emergency Room at nearly the same time as the ambulance and despite the urgency of his condition she recalls being met with a caring and competent staff.

“The team in the ER was excellent,” she says. “Dr. (Catherine) Taylor took charge of the situation immediately. She knew exactly what to do and made us feel more comfortable despite the uncertainty of what was going on. They did not find any signs of a stroke or cardiac event, but they were able to stabilize him and get him into ICU to get the care he needed.”

neurosurgery at Firelands

Once Otto was transferred to the ICU for his head injury, he saw neurosurgeon Dr. Bo Yoo.

“We are where we are today because of Dr. Yoo,” Bonnie attests. “He is an excellent physician.”

Otto agrees, “I know that my progress is because of Dr. Yoo. He was very professional, very knowledgeable and is a great physician. He does what is necessary for his patients. I think if I had gone somewhere else, I would’ve had a different outcome. Some people say if you go elsewhere (to Cleveland for instance), you will get better care. We want people to know that Firelands Regional Medical Center is excellent. I received excellent care right here.”

Otto endured months of inpatient rehabilitation and therapy to regain basic skills like walking, clear speech, sentence structure, mathematics and other everyday tasks most people take for granted.

“We really have to thank the people in the inpatient rehabilitation unit and in speech, physical and occupational therapy,” remarks Bonnie.

“The therapists have really helped my progress, too,” says Otto. “And I never felt like I was a child in their eyes. Even though [while in inpatient rehabilitation] I was relearning tasks a child learns, I never felt patronized. I always felt empowered by the therapists.”

Otto is not 100 percent back to his normal life yet, but every day he gets a bit better. He attributes farm life to adding a bit of therapy for him, but he also gives Bonnie a lot of credit.

“Over the past months, Bonnie has had to step up a lot,” he says. “She’s tended our cattle and done a lot around the farm when I couldn’t.”

But for Bonnie, that’s all a part of marriage and of her commitment to Otto, “After more than fifty years together, you just do what needs to be done. I’m just happy to have Otto in the shape he is and we can’t thank the staff at Firelands enough for their role in our lives.”

Are you a grateful patient?

There are many ways to recognize the extraordinary care of those who helped you during your visit at Firelands Regional Medical Center.

If you have had an outstanding encounter with anyone on our staff, we encourage you to recognize that individual through our Grateful Patient Program. Simply write the name of the person you wish to recognize in the tribute line of the remittance envelope in this magazine and enclose a gift of any amount. Gifts to Firelands Regional Medical Center ensure that others in our community receive the same outstanding care you have received during your stay. Your gift amount will remain confidential and can be designated to any area of patient care at Firelands Regional Medical Center. You can also make a secure gift online. For more information contact the Development Office at 419-557-7150.