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How Faith and Care Put Melody Back In The Saddle

They said I’d never walk or sit up again.
Melody Coppetti, Ready To Ride AgainWhen Melody Coppetti announced she was going for a horse ride, people took notice. Not long ago, Melody wasn't expected to walk let alone do much on her own, let alone a ride on a horse. So, it was serious business when she mounted the black and white horse that tooks its rider on a stroll short in distance but long on meaning.

 

In September 2009, a severely abscessed tooth led to a spinal infection that paralyzed Coppetti’s entire body. She could only move her eyelids and mouth. “They said I’d never walk or sit up again,” Coppetti recalled.

 

After a hospitalization and surgery, she went to live at Grace Living Center Tahlequah University Northwest. At one time, Melody had worked there as a nurse aide and now, she is a firm believer that during this stay, a miracle occurred.

 

Over a 21-month stay with us, Melody got increasingly better, regaining mobility and independence. Soon, she hopes to walk out of the home that has changed her life. “I’m walking on a cane now,” she said. “I can’t do cartwheels yet, but that’s coming.” 

 

“Faith got me through this,” Coppetti said. “I was praying to get my feet back under me. And the kindness and consideration of everyone at Grace was great. Everyone was just awesome.” 

 

Tawnee Hawley, the center’s director of nursing, said staff members rejoiced in every step of Coppetti’s recovery. “It’s been so rewarding for us to see where she is now given the state she was in when she entered our home,” Hawley said. “We see how far she has come.” Multiple issues contributed to the results achieved for Melody and results will vary by individual.

 

Barry Stone, administrator, said Coppetti is an inspiration to the staff and to other residents of the home too. “She is a mentor to the other residents, always providing encouragement,” Stone said. 

 

Coppetti said she looks forward to leaving Grace, but she vows she will be back again – back to visit friends, old and new, who have become like family to her. “I’ll be back,” she says. “They aren’t ever going to get rid of me.”

 

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Care for the whole person: important to Melody and her recovery, important to you.

 

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A version of this story appeared on the cover of the Tahlequah Daily Press on October 30, 2011