Unique donation will help hospital patients - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

Unique donation will help hospital patients

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LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) -  A Chevy Impala was lifted into the third floor of Gundersen Lutheran in La Crosse on Wednesday afternoon. Eventually it will be moved into the rehabilitation unit and help patients redevelop skills moving in and out of vehicles.

The car was donated by Sleepy Hallow Chevrolet in Viroqua as a tribute to two employees. One who suffered a stroke and another who's daughter was injured in a car accident.

The car will be used in the hospital's rehabilitation unit and will help patients re-learn how to navigate a vehicle.

Deb Head, inpatient rehabilitation program manager at Gundersen Lutheran, said vehicle mobility is a critical element of patient discharge and having this vehicle will be beneficial in the recovery process.

"It's an opportunity of our patients to actually practice getting in and out of a car or getting equipment in and out of a car after they've had a serious illness or injury," said Head. "It's something that all people need when they get back into the community. That's a skill they do on a frequent basis."

With the current system, it can take up to 45 minutes for patients to get down to the parking lot to practice getting in and out of a vehicle. Head said having the car in the unit will give patients more opportunity to rehearse these skills.

"For them to be able to, again, practice those skills of getting in and out of a car," said Head. "And managing their wheel chairs and managing equipment that they need to get in and out of a car is just indescribable in how much it means to those patients."

Coordinators at Gundersen expect the car will be installed and ready to use in a month.

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