By Linda Pulver
My hero is more than a hero he is my angel, soul mate, my husband, Russell Barber. On January 2, 2004 just after turning 60, I started having GBS symptoms. By January 7, I was in an ambulance being transported from Hornell, NY to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY. That was the beginning of my struggles and Russell’s strength. Not only was he by my bed everyday while in ICU but he made sure I was never alone. He continued to work and drive back and forth from the southern tier to Rochester every day. He talked to doctors and made sure insurance was in order. But the hard work began when I came home 8 weeks later still unable to walk. He set up physical therapy, nurse visits, occupational therapy and pushed to make sure I made a full recovery. We lived in a rural hamlet and a decent rehab facility was not available. Russell continued to work as I lost my job but every night he made sure I was taken care of. He got me in and out of the shower until I was able to do so alone (not until July). I was unable to drive for two years so he spent weekends and vacations making sure I got out. Over two years of his life was making sure I was taken care of and progressing. He took me out to eat, on vacation, and flew me to Florida in January of 2005 to stay with his mother so I would be warm and could swim every day. Swimming is what helped me get back to almost full mobility. Russell made sure the children were updated on my progress and as soon as I was able we went to visit them. The first year was hell, but he never lost his cool and I would not have made the recovery I did without his support and love. He is a true GBS Hero.