Gisela Wold

Gisela Wold took pride in her independent lifestyle. Living with her husband and 13-year-old grandson, she took care of everything. From cooking, baking, doing laundry, looking after finances, and cleaning, she did it all.

Everything changed when Gisela and her husband woke up to a house fire that started in their basement. Their grandson, who slept in the basement, got out unharmed, but Gisela and her husband weren’t so lucky. Their neighbors happen to be firefighters and EMTs and were able to rescue the couple.

They rushed the couple to Regions Hospital Burn Center in St Paul, Minnesota. The fire left Gisela with inhalation burns and degloving of bilateral upper extremities. Her condition required a trach and ventilator to breathe. After a month-long stay in the hospital, she transferred to Vibra Hospital of the Central Dakotas to continue her recovery.

Gisela arrived needing max assistance with each task. Because of the ventilator, she was unable to speak, eat, or drink on her own. She had an increased amount of edema in her bilateral upper extremities making fine motor tasks and coordination difficult. She couldn’t walk, stand, or even sit at the edge of the bed. Her weak condition required a Hoyer lift to get her in and out of bed.

Despite all this, Gisela worked hard with her therapy team and didn’t give up. Liberating from the ventilator kick-started her progress. As her lungs got stronger, she started speech and swallow therapy. Each day she worked on her home exercise program to get stronger. Her team of therapists supported her each step of the way.

“They all worked as a team to make me comfortable and took care of me. Hilda is very great at her job—a true motivator. They all cared about my needs and wanted me to get better, and back on my feet,” Gisela explained.

Because of her hard work and dedication to recovery, Gisela made great strides. She regained her ability to talk, eat, and drink. She can now walk ten feet with a front-wheeled walker and transfer to a chair by herself.

After nearly two months with Vibra, Gisela is proud of the progress she made. She transitioned to Tioga Medical Center for further therapy and to be closer to home. She stated, “I survived a very traumatic experience with the support of my family and friends.” Gisela looks forward to returning home with her husband so she can live life and celebrate each day.