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Room to Triumph

Larger rehab unit gives injured patients space to succeed.

road to triumph - room view

Larry Sword, 59, didn’t set out to be part of history. He was just looking for a good night’s sleep. But on the Monday night before Thanksgiving, Larry (shown below with his nephew, Tanner Wysong) suffered a stroke. “I went to roll over in bed at about 3 a.m., and I couldn’t move,” he explains. “My right side was dead.” Larry’s wife called the paramedics, who rushed the Franklin resident to Middletown Regional Hospital.

Road to triumph - uncle and nephewAnd that’s how on December 9, 2007, Larry found himself part of hospital history, as patients at Middletown Regional Hospital were transferred to the new Atrium Medical Center. “I was staying in the rehabilitation unit, ready to begin my stroke rehab program,” recalls Larry. “We got up that morning, had breakfast, and at about 10 a.m. they started moving us out by ambulance.”

Larry was among the first to lay eyes on the expanded Rehabilitation Center at Atrium Medical Center—a compassionate place where those with functional disabilities following an illness or injury to the muscular, nervous or skeletal system can come to rebuild their bodies and lives.

“I was amazed at how big it was and how nice,” Larry says of the new 20-bed center (the MRH unit had 14 beds). The center is equipped with 18 private patient rooms, two fully furnished independent living apartments (shown above) and four gyms for physical and occupational therapy. “It’s a lot better for patients.”

Bettering Our Best

“Moving to a state-of-the-art facility made an already excellent rehab program even stronger,” says Ingrid Waggoner, RN, CRRN, BSN, program manager for Rehabilitation Services at Atrium Medical Center.

Atrium’s rehab program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), and in 2007 the program received the Top Performer Award from Uniform Data System for Medical Rehabilitation (UDSMR). UDSMR is the nation’s most widely used system for evaluating the outcomes of medical rehabilitation. “With roughly 900 rehab programs participating, UDSMR concluded that our outstanding patient outcomes rank us among the top 10 percent of reporting hospitals nationwide,” Waggoner explains. “We’re extremely proud of our program and of the excellent group of specially certified physicians, nurses, therapists and others who are making an enormous difference in the lives of our patients.”

Space to Move, Space to Improve

The expanded rehab area is a key benefit to patients who need ample space to move, maneuver wheelchairs and walkers and work toward higher levels of mobility. Increased privacy is another improvement.

“We challenge patients to do many activities that are hard for them so we can see how they function and help them problem-solve before they go back home and have to do these activities alone,” says Waggoner. “The added privacy and bigger space helps when you’re pushing yourself to learn a new or difficult skill.”

Each spacious patient room includes a private bathroom with a roll-in shower sized to accommodate a wheelchair, a walker or an additional person for assistance if necessary.

Large private patient rooms are important at a time when you need all the family support you can get, says Larry. “My entire family came and celebrated Christmas in my room,” he recalls. “They set up a small Christmas tree, my nephew hung stockings and we opened presents together.”

Extra support from close friends and family during his month-long stay gave Larry the courage and determination to work hard at therapy as he relearned how to talk, walk, dress, feed and care for himself. Now back at home but continuing to benefit from outpatient therapy, he says, “I’m getting stronger every day.”