New Chapter program gives rehab, long-term residents at Marquis chance to shine

by: SUBMITTED - Tyrene Riedl finally is able to fly fish thanks to the New Chapter program at Marquis after suffering multiple organ failure in June.Tyrene Riedl has had several amazing chapters in her life. So many, in fact, they could make a great book. Chapter 1: Indoor girl and aspiring actress heads off to college. Chapter 2: Girl smitten with a boy learns to fly fish and love the outdoors. Chapter 3: Girl takes leap of faith and moves to Yellowstone National Park. Chapter 4: Tragedy hits and girl nearly escapes death. Chapter 5: New Chapter gives girl a new outlook.

Riedl, a 1992 West Linn High School graduate, went off to college at Southern Oregon University. She studied acting and had the vision of becoming a star actress. Then she met a guy, a guy who loved the outdoors and fly fishing.

In 1996, Riedl’s boyfriend took her on an adventure on the Upper Sacramento River. They visited a box canyon and he showed her how to fly fish.

“I had fished as a little girl with hooks and worms and was bored to death,” Riedl said.

Fly fishing, however, proved different.

“It was very active,” Riedl said.

Every aspect of fly fishing spoke to her. She loved learning how to read the river and how the weather and temperature of the water affect fish. She was fascinated by the entomology of knowing what insects each fish eat.

“It was fishing in such a different way. I loved the physical activity of it,” she said. “I was hooked right away.”

Soon Riedl and boyfriend were spending all their free time camping, hiking and fly fishing. They visited Diamond Lake in southern Oregon and Lost Lake in the Mount Hood National Forest. In the winter they would fish on the Rogue River. Riedl got better and better at fly fishing and can boast an accurate cast of 75 feet.

The next summer they traveled to Yellowstone National Park.

“That’s when I really fell in love with nature as a whole. I saw a grizzly bear, I heard a wolf howl,” she said.

Throughout college Riedl and her soon-to-be husband spent two to three weeks in Yellowstone. But after graduation, they got married and she settled into an office SUBMITTED - Tyrene Riedl savors holding a fly fishing rod in her hands once again.

In 2002, the couple decided to try working at Yellowstone. Riedl got a job right away working at Roosevelt Lodge, one of the smallest in the park but closest to the best fishing.

For four years Riedl worked as a front desk manager and trainer in Yellowstone while spending her free time fishing and enjoying the outdoors. She became an interpretive guide and spent three summers as a fly fishing guide.

However, when her hobby became her job, Riedl decided to step back to giving tours and conducting nature walks. Since 2007 she has worked in Yellowstone in the transportation division.

During that time Riedl and her husband divorced, but she is still thankful for having him in her life because he introduced her to fly fishing.

Then, on June 20, the 39-year-old suffered multiple organ failure and needed to be Life Flighted from Bozeman, Mont., to Oregon Health & Science University. She was bedridden in the hospital for 40 days, then transferred July 30 to Wilsonville Marquis, a rehab and long-term care facility to undergo occupational and physical therapy.

“Those 40 days on my back were so hard because I’m so active,” Riedl said.

Since coming to Marquis, Riedl is slowly recovering, gaining her strength and can now walk short stretches unassisted.

Sometimes therapy and being confined can take its toll on a person. That is where Marquis’ New Chapter program comes in. Based on the Make-a-Wish model, New Chapter gives a custom experience to some of its long-term and rehab residents. Past events include a football game with special seating for a sports nut, a cooking class for a culinary diehard and, recently, one last patrol for a retired sheriff.

“We’ve been doing it for a number of years,” said Maribeth Taennler, Marquis receptionist. “It’s just a neat opportunity to give back to someone who gives us so much.”

She said the New Chapter experiences come naturally as staff get acquainted with SUBMITTED  - It didn't take long for Tyrene Riedl to land some rainbow trout while fly fishing at a private lake near Scio.

“It just kind of happens. Once you get to know a resident a little bit, it just falls into place,” she said.

It didn’t take long for the staff at Marquis to learn Riedl’s passion for fly fishing. They soon started scheming.

Working with Orvis, an outdoor store at Bridgeport Village, Marquis staff were able to arrange a secret fly fishing outing for Riedl.

On Sept. 9, the cat was let of the bag and Riedl was told about a fly fishing trip planned just for her.

“When I told her ... she just broke down,” Taennler said.

On Sept. 15, Riedl, Marquis staff and family, along with Orvis staff, escorted her to private lakes south of Scio for fly fishing and a barbecue lunch of fresh tuna.

“I didn’t know I could move so fast. I was out of that car before it came to a complete stop,” Riedl said about arriving to the lake and seeing the rods.

That afternoon, Riedl fly fished from the shore, catching rainbow trout. She was supplied with a rod, reel, gear bag, flies and a hat since all of her gear is back at her home in Gardiner, Mont. She hadn’t touched a rod since May, the longest she has gone without fishing since 1996.

“I caught several right off the bat,” she said. “I kissed the first fish I caught.”

After feasting at lunch and catching fish between 14 and 20 inches, the day came to a close and Riedl returned to Marquis.

“It gave me just such a renewed faith in humanity. ... Their kindness and generosity has given me hope and faith. There’s going to be bad things, but there are going to be good things too,” Riedl said. “It just really gave me hope for getting through the rough times heading my way.”

Riedl said the experience was healing for her, both mentally and physically, although she was quite sore and exhausted the next day.

Riedl’s reaction to her New Chapter is not unique. Taennler said many patients experience days of lifted spirits and renewed energy.

“It’s just huge. It just builds them up inside,” Taennler said. “It gives them an opportunity to feel important and loved and not forgotten. ... It gives them a moment in the limelight.”

Riedl was released from Marquis on Friday and is moving temporarily to her parents’ home in Woodburn until December, when she will return to the place she loves most — Yellowstone.

“I’m just so thankful. I’m on the last leg of my journey,” she said. “There’s so much more to rehab than the physical part of it.”

As for the next chapter in Riedl’s life, that is yet to be written.

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