D., is going through a renaissance. Mardi came
to us breathing on a mechanical ventilator.
Our clinical respiratory staff helped her to wean
from the ventilator and breathe on her own.
She recovered abilities working with our therapy
team. Besides rehabilitation, Mardi began
rediscovering long-dormant talents that can only
happen at a program like Northeast Center for
Special Care. But lets let Mardi tell you her
I came to Northeast Center from the hospital.
I was told that when I was in the hospital I was
unresponsive. I woke up here attached to a
ventilator. I gradually got better and
stronger. They were able to take the tube off and
eventually the trach (tracheostomy) came out.
Now I breathe perfectly well and now I'm doing
everything I used to do when I was young. I
feel like God gave me a second chance.
I rediscovered painting here. I used to
paint when I was a teenager. One day I was
invited into the art studio and I just started
painting. Susan Togut who runs the art studio
asked me first to paint a watercolor and then I
started painting in acrylics and I've continued
creating new paintings since then. I've
painted several portraits - I always liked portrait
work. The last one I did was a long time
ago. It was of my daughter
when she was young.
D., creates a new painting in the art
painting has made me very happy. I go everyday. I
like to create. Besides people I paint animals. I
like to paint things that are living or from
reality. I've done several paintings with an Egyptian
theme - I'm very interested in Nefertiti. She
was a beautiful woman and I recently saw a
documentary about her. I like the middle-east
and the desert, years ago I read all of D. H.
Lawrence's books and found that culture fascinating.
I've also started creating paintings with a
southwest theme. One of the speech therapists
at Northeast Center suggested I try doing a painting
with that kind of theme. I wasn't sure what to
do at first and then I ended up doing paintings with
Native American subjects. Painting has helped
me in my rehabilitation. I became more involved in
life because painting challenged me.
plays keyboard at a musical event.
thing I rediscovered at Northeast Center is
music. I was musically inclined all my life, I
played the piano from age eight. I attended
the Boston Conservatory of Music after high
school. I studied rudimentary music, stage,
voice, piano among other things. After being
in school for awhile I decided to move
to New York City and get further training
While living in New York I met my husband who was a
stage actor and cellist. He was a protégé of Pablo
Casals and he traveled all over the world with him.
One night my husband and I went to a famous night
club on Long Island. They had a baby grand
piano there and I was asked to play. The club
owners asked me if I would play there three nights a
week and so I started working as a musician. I
built up a repertoire of songs and started playing
piano at hotels and resorts around the country.
I gave birth to a daughter who at age four showed
signs of neurological problems and learning
husband passed away when she was a baby so for a
long time my main focus in life was raising and
supporting my daughter. I had to stop playing
because I wanted to stay home and care for her.
painting by Mardi D., "Music from
the Angels" 24 x 30 acrylic.
One day I was coming down
Main Street and I heard Patsy Cline coming from one
of the rooms. Now I love Patsy Cline so I went
in to see who was playing the music. Peter Bass, who does some of the music at
Northeast Center was playing the Patsy Cline
came over and talked to me and then asked me if I wanted to
play. I said OK and he brings me over
to a keyboard. I haven't played in a long time
so I guess he figured I could do it. So I
start playing "It Had to Be You," and
Peter and Rick Soshensky the Music Therapist are
just standing there watching me amazed that I could
play. I looked at them and asked if they
wanted to hear "Bye, Bye,
Blackbird." They asked me to come and
play some more and I did. I started out doing things
I could remember, but now it's all coming back!
believe that I'm once again doing what I started out
to do in life - play music.
I like to create, I like to work and I love music.
I've gotten that back here. There are some great
people at Northeast Center who have helped me. The respiratory
therapists and the physical and occupational therapy
people. Before I couldn't breathe or walk and now
I'm mobile and active and I have progressed quite a
bit. I have to say thank God everyday for the people
who work here who helped me get strong and well.
Rehabilitation at Northeast
Center for Special Care is simply not a matter
of traditional therapy. We are a
therapeutic community and treat the whole
person. Our Fine Arts programs includes
art, music, acting and writing. Some of
our Resident-Neighbors, like Mardi rediscover
their talents here and others discover talents
they never thought they had for the first