Faizbano Rayani was driving home at 4 a.m. along a long stretch of highway in southwest Houston. She was essentially the only car on the road, but she still stopped at a red light on the deserted road.
While stopped at the red light, she glanced into her rearview window and saw a pair of headlights coming towards her at a high speed. The next thing she knew, a pair of hands was reaching into her mangled car and touching her head. “I was bleeding and disoriented,” said Faizbano.
She was stuck under her steering wheel below the deployed air bag. The witnesses in a car that pulled into the intersection across from her said that a truck, estimated to be traveling over 100 miles-per-hour, rear-ended her car. Her vehicle went airborne, tumbling over several times before coming to a landing. The impact was so severe, they assumed Faizbano had been killed.
After the jaws of life were called in to extract her from the vehicle, they realized that she was, indeed alive. An ambulance took her to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital. She had a cut on her head and had fractured several vertebrae in her back.
“I was sent to the ICU for five days,” said Faizbano. “I don’t have any family in town, but some friends immediately rushed to the hospital to be by my side while family members from Dallas traveled to Houston to be with me. I was dizzy all the time and couldn’t lower my head.”
Faizbano has been a Memorial Hermann employee for 20 years, so she knew she was in good hands. After her initial hospitalization, she was moved to inpatient rehabilitation at Memorial Hermann Southwest where she underwent 1.5 hours of physical therapy and 1.5 hours of occupational therapy each day. After two weeks, she was able to go home and continue with outpatient therapy.
“We did a lot of training with adaptive equipment to help her meet her goals,” said Julie Seaman, OTR, MOT. “For example, Faizbano learned how to use a sock-aid, reacher and long-handled shoehorn to improve her independence with getting dressed. Some of the biggest challenges we faced were managing her pain level and the dizziness she experienced on a daily basis. She overcame these with pacing herself during activities and using compensatory techniques throughout our sessions. On the last day of therapy, she had reached every goal that was set.”
After she was discharged to go home, various family members took turns staying with her as she recovered.
“Faizbano did have to make modifications, including moving to a first-floor apartment, and she could not drive for some time due to her concussion,” said Dr. Manisha Bawa, clinical assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) and medical director Inpatient Rehabilitation at Memorial Hermann Southwest. “She was very motivated to work hard and improve. She recovered well during her stay and reached milestones timely and was soon able to drive and go back to work, leading a normal life.”
“Partners in Caring was in touch with me, which was nice since I am a 17-year member of the Memorial Hermann committee,” said Faizbano. “The Partners in Caring director brought me a beautiful folder full of cards and messages from all the PIC steering members and some goodies as well--and offered help if I needed any. But, thank God, I had my family by my side so I did not need any financial help. My supervisor was very supportive as well.”
After 3 months, Faizbano returned to her role as a Billing Coordinator at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center. In addition to being active on the Partners in Caring Committee, she has also been co-chair of the Blood Drive committee for 18 years.
“When I was a patient, Memorial Hermann took care of me like family–because that is what we are!” said Faizbano.
For the 34th consecutive year, TIRR Memorial Hermann is recognized as the best rehabilitation hospital in Texas and No. 4 in the nation according to U.S. News and World Report's "Best Rehabilitation Hospitals" in America.Learn More