Kathy Regains Her Independence in the
Family Atmosphere of Swedish Hospital


Kathy Regains Independent in Rehab

When Rogers Park resident Kathy was first transferred to Swedish Hospital’s acute inpatient rehabilitation unit, she was recovering from a heart attack and extremely weak. Once her condition was stabilized, she would work to regain her strength, balance and independence. 

Kathy arrived quite ill and deconditioned. “When I first got here, I was so weak that I couldn’t even hold a piece of paper,” Kathy said. “I was depressed because I never thought I’d be able to walk or even pick up anything again, but they proved me wrong.”  She was surprised to find out just how serious the rehabilitation team was about getting her back onto her feet.   

“They worked with me to strengthen everything from my toes to my head,” Kathy said. “I was initially considered a high fall risk. If anyone would have bumped me I could lose my balance. Within days, I was standing and they were helping me strengthen the muscles I needed to balance and walk again.”
Through a combined approach to therapy that consisted of physical, occupational, speech and recreational therapy, Kathy began making remarkable progress. They were soon able to move her into rehearsing tasks essential to independent living. 
“They taught me how to take care of myself again,” Kathy said. “They showed me how to wash my own clothes, get in the shower and breathe efficiently through it all. They gave me enough confidence to know that when I’m at home alone I can take care of myself. ”
“She was having a difficult time with her oxygenation when she arrived and had extremely limited endurance,” said Alysa Lucas, OTR/L, an occupational therapist at Swedish Hospital. “When Kathy left, she was entirely independent!” 
The result the inpatient rehabilitation team was able to achieve with Kathy is due not only to an adherence to the most recent research-based guidelines and leading-edge techniques, but also due to the way that they view each and every patient.  

“Coming here was the best choice I’ve made,” said Kathy. “They have great staff here to work with you on all levels. Everyone here is all about healing and they put the patient first. They make you feel so at home. You don’t have to be homesick. There’s love. They’re there for you. They’re a family. I got spoiled.” 
“I’m not at risk to fall anymore, and I get to go home now,” Kathy said. “All my family is coming over today. We’re going to have a welcome party. They all don’t think I know that, it’s supposed to be a surprise, but there’s always someone in the family who tells the secret!”
“I have a big family—seven aunts, four uncles, 26 nieces and nephews, three brothers and two sisters. They miss my cooking. I have family gatherings often, and always at Christmas. They depend on me during the holidays. But I had to tell them my health is the most important thing right now. Once I get my health together, I’ll be back in the kitchen.”
To continue progressing, Kathy will be attending outpatient physical therapy at Swedish Hospital’s Galter LifeCenter once a week.
“I’m not done with them yet,” said Kathy. “It’s to make sure that I’m continuing my exercises and healing. I’m extremely happy with where I’m at today.” 

To learn more about rehabilitation services at Swedish Hospital, please call 773-878-6888.

By David Modica | Published March 23, 2017
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