ATLANTIC CITY — About three years ago, few people thought Shani Pitts would ever walk again, much less regain other motor and cognitive skills.

It was hard for Pitts’ family to think about anything other than the immediate future as they watched her lie comatose in a hospital bed, attached to wires and tubes, for a month at Acuity Specialty Hospital of New Jersey in Atlantic City.

But Monday, Pitts and her mother, Jennifer Robinson, both of Lindenwold, hugged doctors and nurses who treated the 28-year-old patient for the month before she regained functioning. While they are less well known to the public, long-term specialty hospitals such as Acuity make up a small, vital piece of the health care system.

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