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Some celebrating holidays at the hospital

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Right now, millions of people around the world are celebrating the holidays.

Borgess Gardens Rehabilitation Center in Kalamazoo has seen hundreds of patients this year, with many needing a lot of help to get back on their feet.

Just because it's Christmas Eve doesn't mean that need goes away, either.

We decided to spend some time with one of the patients spending the holiday in the hospital.

Even though she's working on Christmas Eve, occupational therapist Jill Penty doesn't seem to mind.

"It's the most rewarding job," she said, excitedly. "Seeing patients come in pretty debilitated and you get to see them walk out."

She's hoping that will be the case for one Ann Carpenter.

Ann is at Borgess Gardens on Christmas Eve because she has to be.

"She's unbelievable," Jill said of Carpenter. "She's come such a long way."

You understand that when you consider that just 7 weeks ago, it didn't look like Carpenter would be around this Christmas.

"I had a sudden pulmonary embolism," she said. "I couldn't breathe and I called the ambulance and they brought me to Borgess. And they saved my life."

After 8 days in the Borgess ICU, she was asked where she wanted to start rehab, and she told them Borgess Gardens.

But when she arrived, the future was uncertain.

"I couldn't walk or get myself up or do anything," Carpenter said.

After 6 weeks of rehabilitation therapy, Penty says things are very different.

Borgess Gardens says 70 percent of its patients were able to go home on their own last year.

The other 30 percent are either in assisted living, moved in with family, or still rehabilitating at the Gardens.

As for Carpenter, she's scheduled to get back to her life with her husband at home on January 3rd.