Road to Recovery with Dean Rachel Keele
In March 2016, Andrews University campus was saddened to learn that Dean Rachel Keele of University Towers was admitted to the hospital after having suffered from a stroke. According to Keele, she began feeling symptoms about 24 hours after an accident she had while working out at Berrien Springs CrossFit, located on N. Mechanic Street. Keele reported that she had been doing a one-handed handstand on a kettlebell when she lost her balance and fell. At first, she said she didn’t think anything of the accident, but later the next day she began to feel a sharp pain in her neck. She thought she had pinched a nerve or something of that nature, but never considered that she might have been experiencing something as serious as a stroke. Keele said that when she went back to University Towers the room began to spin and she became very dizzy. Her husband, Donnie Keele, an Associate Dean of Meier Hall, and another dean from Meier Hall came over to see what was going on. After realizing that something was seriously wrong they decided to take her to the Emergency Room.
According to Rachel Keele, at the hospital they ran a series of tests and came to the conclusion that she had in fact suffered a stroke. They gave her some very powerful blood thinners and admitted her to the Intensive Care Unit where she began to undergo different therapies and recovery treatments. The doctors told her that recovery would last a couple months, but it could take a while for everything to return back to normal. When she first started her recovery, Rachel Keele said it was incredibly difficult to walk, she was seeing double vision, and she felt as if the objects around her were spinning out of control.
But through various therapies she has made it back to the state she is in now. According to Rachel Keele, there are still times when she struggles with the side effects of having such a serious medical episode as a stroke. She still has some double vision, and there are times when vertigo still affects her, but overall she is back to normal.
Rachel Keele stresses how important it is to know the symptoms of having a stroke and that strokes are becoming increasingly more common amongst young people.
“I want everyone to be able to know the signs” Rachel Keele said. “It's really important if you have any question in your mind, you might as well go to the Emergency Room or call 911.”