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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Teacher moved to Kan. rehab hospital

  • Because of issues with insurance, local physical education teacher Mija Stockman has been moved into Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital in Gardener.
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  • Because of issues with insurance, local physical education teacher Mija Stockman has been moved into Meadowbrook Rehabilitation Hospital in Gardener.
    Stockman was critically injured in a three-car accident on Dec. 20, 2013, in which her vehicle was hit head on by a vehicle driven by Jeffrey Paul Davis. Davis has pleaded no contest to the charge of aggravated battery while driving under the influence, for the accident involving Mija. His sentencing is set for Monday.
    Prior to the move to Meadowbrook, Stockman spent almost five months at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital in Lincoln, Nebraska, the national leader in specialized rehabilitation programs for traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, stroke and pulmonary conditions. The decision to transfer her to Kansas was made when her medical insurance company could no longer support further care at Madonna.
    “The insurance tried its hardest to allow Mija to stay at Madonna. She was able to get more rehab at Madonna than any of us expected. Unfortunately there are guidelines and milestones that have to be met to continue on in a particular setting,” said Mija’s sister Mauri Courter. “It has been a nice move because she is closer to family so we are able to see her more often.”
    Stockman has made strides in her recovery. She has occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech therapy nearly every week day. She also spends time working on Activities of Daily Living, also known as ADLs. These are self-care tasks that people perform in their daily lives. Stockman works on these activities every day to increase her independence at them. Therapy has been focused on her swallowing. She gets electrical stimulation to help stimulate her muscles. She has also been working on her communication skills, and being more consistent with her communication. She is now able to bear some weight on her good leg so she can transfer without full assistance.
    “She makes small progress every day,” Courter said. “For as frustrating as this is for everyone else, I can't even begin to imagine how hard it is for her.  For a person who was so independent all of her life to be completely dependent on others now has got to be extremely hard on her.”
    On June 22, Mija and her husband, Shawn Stockman, celebrated their 18th weeding anniversary. Mija smelled the flowers Shawn brought her and gave him the thumbs up sign, Courter said. When Shawn told her it was their anniversary, Mija patted her chest and mouthed “Wow.” Shawn said the day started and ended with smiles.
    On May 27, Davis, 50, of Heseria, California, pleaded no contest to a charge of aggravated battery while driving under the influence, for the accident involving Mija and one other vehicle driven by Pamela Pjesky, 57, of rural McPherson. Davis’ sentencing is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. Monday.
    Page 2 of 2 - “While nothing can change what our family has been put through, we hope that the man does get the maximum sentence that is allowed under law for the charges,” Courter said. “He has forever changed the lives of our family. Girls who need their mother, a husband who needs his wife, they just don’t have that right now, and it’s because of an act of selfishness. Even someday when she is home, the time that has been lost can never be regained.”
    Mija and her family continue to receive love and support from the community. Local residents make it known that they are in their thoughts and prayers.
    “We continue to appreciate all of the support shown to our family, all of the communities, churches, friends, family, coworkers and even the professional organization Mija belongs to,” Courter said. “There are not even enough words in this whole world to express our gratitude toward all of those who have reached out to us and kept us in their thoughts and prayer. We are truly humbled by the outpouring of love and generosity that is still six months later being shown to our family.”
    For more information on the condition of Mija and for updates about her family, visit the Facebook page dedicated to her recovery, “Love, Support and Prayers for Mija Stockman.” The page is updated almost every day.
    Donations can be made at Peoples Bank and Trusts in Lindsborg, McPherson, Inman or Hutchinson. They also can be mailed to Peoples Bank and Trust, Attn: Mija Stockman Medical Fund, P.O. Box 111, Lindsborg, KS 67456. Cards may be sent to Mija at Mija Stockman C/O Meadowbrook Rehab Hospital 427 W. Main St., Gardner, KS 66030, Room 401.

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