In 2016, Julie Hollinger Pascal suffered a spinal cord injury that left her paralyzed from the arms down and unable to do the things she loves most; spending time gardening, practicing yoga and riding her bike.

Referrals from family and friends led Julie to the care of Dr. Ramzi Ben-Youssef, medical director of the Inpatient Acute Rehabilitation Unit (IRU) at Keck Medicine of USC.

“I placed my trust in Dr. Ben-Youssef because of his years of experience and significant research in rehabilitation medicine,” said Julie. “He was personable and proactive in presenting me with different treatment options, specific to my needs. From the moment I met him, I knew I was in good hands.”

After her admission into the IRU, Julie’s team of nurses, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and Dr. Ben-Youssef were committed to providing her with the most positive rehabilitation experience possible. The goal was to improve her ability to function and perform everyday activities, so the medical team at Keck Medicine of USC created a personalized therapy plan to do just that.

“My rehab team became a secondary family as they worked with me every step of the way and gave me the motivation to keep moving forward and improving,” said Julie.

A year has passed since Julie’s admission into the IRU, and she has made incredible progress. Today, Julie’s core strength has returned, she has regained significant functionality in her arms, and she continues to build strength in her leg muscles. She is grateful to her IRU team at Keck Medicine of USC for giving her greater independence, and the knowledge of knowing that with their support, and her work, she will continue on her path to recovery.

The IRU at Keck Medicine of USC has established itself as one of the most successful programs of its kind, with outcomes for our patients consistently exceeding regional and national standards.

In order to carry on this commitment, we turn to our community for their philanthropic support. Julie answered the call when she saw the need to help grow and expand the IRU program at Keck Medicine of USC.

“I’ve had such a warm and positive experience, that I wanted to share this with others by supporting the IRU philanthropically,” said Julie.

“My gifts, combined with other donors’ support, are truly valued by the IRU staff and its patients.”