Jenna’s father, Brian Preston, praised the care his daughter had at UW, from Dr. John Kuo, who did her surgery, to case manager Melissa Hillestad, who worked the phones for hours to convince the insurance company to approve rehab care for Jenna.
“And Genevieve, the nurse, was her first nurse, and the one who gave us hope that she would pull through this,’’ he says. “The incredible nursing staff at UW-Madison are second-to-none and have my complete admiration. I tell everyone how this absolute tragedy was blessed after the fact by the UW-Madison staff. They’re the reason she is where she is today.”
Nearly a year after that accident, Jenna has made the long road back, through two hospitals and an entire summer in a rehab program, to begin her spring semester as a UW-Platteville ag business major.
That photo of the calf is making a trip, too, although only down the hallway of University Hospital’s 4th floor.
At the end of January 2018, the hospital is opening a brand new Neuro ICU for patients like Jenna, who come in from all over the Upper Midwest through the hospital’s Level I trauma center.
For Pat Chesmore, the nurse who manages the unit, the photo, signed by Jenna, symbolizes the miraculous recoveries that some of their patients make. It is a message of hope for patients and families at the beginning of that long journey back from a serious head injury.