The "One in a Million" Patient

Making What Seems Impossible, Possible.

After two surgeries, a stay in ICU, and recovery from three severe pressure ulcers, it may have seemed the odds were against Dan W. returning home. In fact, his care team estimates he had less than a 10% chance of ever being discharged to home. But three months after his first surgery, Dan was moved to a skilled nursing facility. Leah, who would manage and direct his rehabilitation for the next two years and eight months, met with Dan soon after his arrival to assess his ability to start therapy.

It's one of the few things Dan remembers about his first months at the facility. He recalls that he would often lose consciousness when he first arrived, but he says his care team monitored his condition continuously and they "started doing whatever activity I could tolerate in my condition." He particularly remembers two members of the team, Tara and Sarah, who would check on him daily.

"I can tell you they were diligent about coming to get me and made sure that I did the rehab," he adds. But there were setbacks, including additional operations for one of the pressure ulcers he had developed before coming to the nursing center. Those surgeries left him bedridden for nine months. "During this time I would do whatever therapy possible in bed and both Tara and Sarah would check on me regularly, constantly encouraging me to get better and maintain a good attitude," he said.

Things weren't much easier once the wound healed. He resumed daily therapy but says it "took many days of painful work just to accomplish basic goals." Ultimately, though, he says the therapy techniques and hard work started to pay off and he slowly started to get better. He emphasizes that Tara and Sarah were "diligent, encouraging and supportive throughout this lengthy process."

After nearly three years, Dan was able to return home. His home care team and doctor say his recovery is quite possibly a one in a million success story. He says he is still in a wheelchair, but he is also still working hard regularly in therapy and he continues to get better.

He hopes to walk unassisted with a cane one day but also adds that he is a realist and knows his situation could have had a much different outcome. He says he thanks God every day for his progress to date and is grateful to Leah, Tara, Sarah and the rest of the staff for the "excellent therapy, encouragement, support and overall care and consideration they showed me my entire stay in the facility."