Patient Stories

"Life is about how you conduct yourself, especially when faced with the most difficult of circumstances."

Morty Kwestel
Brain Injury Patient

Morty Kwestel has a scientific mind – logical, analytical, exacting. He easily translates the complexities of computer science to his students at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Yet he couldn't make sense of how he lost more than seven weeks of his life. Morty felt achy and nauseous, and eventually went to Saint Barnabas Medical Center. He was diagnosed with shingles, but soon became disoriented and unable to communicate or stay awake. More evaluation showed the virus had caused encephalitis, a dangerous inflammation of the brain.

When he regained wakefulness, he thought he had been asleep overnight and couldn't grasp that almost two months had passed. He struggled with speech, mobility, vision and other medical complications. And he struggled to find a rational explanation for what had happened.

At Kessler's Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Morty found answers, along with what he calls a "first-class" experience. "Everyone and everything is geared to help you recover. I was treated like family and because of their care and compassion, I was able to feel like a person again.

It was a slow, difficult process, but thanks to his specialized brain injury team, loving wife and strong faith, Morty made what his doctors call a miraculous recovery. He returned home, resumed teaching and remains grateful for the many blessings in life.

Learn more about Kessler's Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program.