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Success Story: Joan

At 81, Joan Stesney was recovering from an elective abdominal aortic aneurysm repair. During surgery, Joan had experienced a complication resulting in the loss of a significant amount of blood; requiring multiple intubations. Unable to manage her secretions properly, her condition worsened and was soon admitted to Post Acute Medical due to respiratory distress – enter The Gardens at East Mountain.

Joan was admitted into our Pulmonary Program and seen by our Respiratory Therapist.  She participated in using incentive spirometry and an acapella device as well as a respiratory muscle trainer to help decrease shortness of breath and help remove secretions from her lungs while improving endurance to participate in Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy.

Despite her complicated hospital stay, Joan required only minimal assistance for bed mobility and transfers, however, she did require total dependence for ambulation and stair climbing.

Joan entered a tailored bilateral upper and lower extremity strengthening program. She participated in dynamic balance activities to improve her weight shifting abilities and received self-care, transfer, and gait training to maximize her level of independence.

Joan received therapy services for two weeks and quickly made significant progress. At the time of her discharge, Joan was performing transfers and all self-care with just a stand by assist level and walking 300 feet with a rolling walker stand by assist. Everyone stood by with pride as she conquered 10 stairs with a single hand rail and stand by assist!  Although she remained on a mechanical soft diet, Joan was able to return home safely with her beloved son and Home Health Services.

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