Nexus Neurorecovery helps resident celebrate first wedding anniversary
CONROE, Texas – Clark and Teri Hoppel certainly didn't expect to be celebrating their first wedding anniversary the way they did, but with a little help from staff and caretakers, the occasion turned out to be very special indeed.
Clark is a patient at Nexus Neurorecovery Center in Conroe.
“It was so important for us to celebrate our anniversary,” said Teri. “It reminds us that we’re not through making memories, because we’re still writing our story and it’s a beautiful story.”
Clark, a civil engineer and military veteran, joined the Nexus family after suffering cardiac arrest as a result of a rare genetic condition called Hereditary Angioedema or HAE. Threatening 1 in 50,000 people, HAE symptoms include internal and external swelling and severe abdominal pain. While often going undiagnosed for many years, HAE is identified by a blood test and is manageable by medicine.
“It’s frustrating to think this whole HAE attack that led to Clark’s cardiac arrest was preventable,” said Teri Hoppel, Clark’s wife. “However, this experience has taught us to appreciate every second we have every day.”
On the occasion of their first anniversary, Nexus Neurorecovery Center created an intimate dinner for the couple, preparing the meal they shared on their first date: fresh seafood, au gratin potatoes and asparagus. The couple reminisced about their elopement to South Padre Island where they were married at sunrise on the beach. Teri recalled that “the weather was perfect, the sky was perfect and my man was perfect”, and said she wouldn’t go back and change anything about the day.
Suffering the HAE attack that led to cardiac arrest only 10 months after their wedding, Clark and Teri believe God put them together at just the right time.
“This part of our journey together began on May 6, 2017,” shared Teri. “And let me tell you, we’ve come a long way!”
Mikael Simpson, Nexus Neurorecovery Center CEO, said acknowledging patient milestones is an important part of the recovery process. “These special moments give our patients the drive to continue to work hard to improve," he said.
Clark has continued to improve during his time at Nexus Specialty Hospital in The Woodlands and Nexus Neurorecovery Center a short drive away in Conroe. Going from being trached in the ICU to now standing and walking with assistance without the trach, Clark is making strides with physical, occupational and cognitive therapy as well as speech-language pathology.
By his side during the entire recovery journey, Teri has been Clark’s advocate.
“It’s so important to never give up and encourage your loved one every day,” said Teri. “There’s always a silver-lining to each and every situation. All you have to do is find it!”