It came pretty clear soon that Kinkomaa was not able to provide me with the kind of rehab I wanted. With help from my parents, we looked into the best rehab center there is in the country, Käpylä in Helsinki, and I made it very clear I want to be transferred there. I moved about eight months after that dark day in October. There’s always good and bad in everything. I was overjoyed about the move, but had also conflicting thoughts. My children would be 400 kilometers (about 250 miles) away, and we would not be able to see each other very often. But I knew this was a chance I had to take if I ever even dreamed about living at home again. Well, that possibility was hanging by a very thin thread; there was only one known case like mine in Finland at that time. I can still remember the rage I felt when people didn’t even bother to reply to me when I said I want to go back home and live there. And I used that rage to my advantage. At this point people were looking for a place for me in an assisted living center in Jyväskylä, little less than 70 kilometers (about 40 miles) from my home. I swore nobody would take me there alive. But I had to visit the center, and that visit made me even more convinced I’m going to fight my way back to home to Saarijärvi. I know that place is perfect for some disabled people, but my life was somewhere else.


And so I was transferred to Käpylä on a lovely spring day. I was like Alice in the Wonderland when I realized all the possibilities the place had to offer when it came to rehab.


AT the same time fight continued on other fronts, too. Me and my loved ones, we were convinced some malpractice had taken place in the Jyväskylä hospital. I applied for legal help, because all the paperwork was pretty much impossible for me to fill out. To everyone’s surprise the legal help was denied, and I also learned that doctors are very well protected against malpractice suits; I should have filed a complaint already back when I was at the ICU. I wouldn’t have filed a lawsuit against the doctor, but I wanted some justice. There were obvious mistakes made during my care. I am just an average Joe, not a legal or medical professional, but even I understood it was a case of malpractice, and a complaint was justified. Since I didn’t get any legal help, most of work had to be taken care by my 70-year-old fragile Mother. My neck and overall health weren’t yet strong enough to work on the computer for longer periods. My Mother had served as a juror in the local justice system, and she took on the challenge. The fight for justice began in 2005, and nobody could predict how exhausting the process would be.


Rehab in Käpylä was beyond my wildest dreams; I could work out as much as I could every day. I also got a bike-type machine to be used when ever I wanted do. And did I bike or what. I did it all and then some for myself. Physical therapy, gym, massages, lymph massages, speech therapy, social services, meetings with a psychologist when needed, and much, much more. But swimming I refused. The water in the pool was warmer than usual, but no. I didn’t feel comfortable. Something told me Käpylä is the place for me till I go home.


I have very warm and fond memories of the therapists. We often disagreed, but nobody took it personally. Things were complicated, and I had very strong opinions about my focus, so there was a lot of discussion going on. And I was a challenge; could they adjust to new routines and ditch the old ones that had worked so well in the past. Nobody could argue I didn’t try, I gave 100 percent when ever I did something. The relationship between me and my first neurologist wasn’t a warm one, it was too clinical. I prayed they’d assign someone else for my care, and my prayers were answered, in a totally unexpected way. People were leaving for summer vacation, and I had to go back to Kinkomaa for a couple of months. I was afraid I’d crash if I have to leave Käpylä, and I was terrified I won’t be able to return to this wonderful place, where the rehab was going so well. But something better was to come.