They Gave Me My Life Back... They Are Amazing
Sitting down to share her story, Carol Edwards of Richmond elegantly crossed her legs.
"It happened on St. Patrick's Day," she began. "My adorable three-year old grandson and I were playing with his skateboard. I have always been active and I wanted to show him that 'Mimi can do that'. So I got on his skateboard while holding onto a column and then the board slipped out from under me. I landed on my right hip, breaking it in five places."
Hospital tests showed five non-displaced fractures allowing her to avoid surgery. After a few days she was moved to a rehabilitation hospital in Sugar Land for ten days and then discharged with prescriptions for pain management and outpatient physical therapy.
"I needed my muscles to strengthen and the bones to heal," she explained.
Life for her and her husband Charles (Bugs) had changed in a millisecond. Help from friends and family was practical, spiritual and deeply appreciated. A month of meals came from her church; a sister-in-law flew in for two weeks; and Willie, the nurse assistant whom she calls family, took over for the long haul.
"Prayers were so important," Carol quietly pointed out. "Billie Wendt told me that she couldn't do anything else but she would pray for me. Prayers gave me the extra boost that I can't explain."
Her accident forced Carol to take stock of her situation. "When I am 80, I want to be independent. I know that at some point you have to accept that you are as good as you are going to get but I was determined to regain my life. "
Upon discharge, Carol chose Physical Therapy Care & Aquatic Rehab of Fort Bend to join her healthcare team. Her goal: to achieve a full recovery and regain her independence.
Patti Kocich, PT and President of the outpatient clinic in Richmond created and managed the dynamic therapy plan necessary to help Carol achieve that goal.
"We have a state-of-the-art facility here. However, where we excel is in our patient-centered focus coupled with our close coordination with doctors," Patti explained.
"Understanding and listening to each patient allows us to continually adjust the plan as the patient progresses. This helps accelerate the healing process."
"We began with aquatic therapy," said Keith Brandt, PTA and Clinic Director. "Immediately Carol proved she was motivated enough to push through all obstacles in order to achieve a full recovery."
"When I was discharged from the hospital, I could not bear my full weight and used a walker," reflects Carol. "Water therapy was just wonderful, taking up to 50% of the weight off. I could walk in the pool. That was a great start."
After three months of therapy, Carol has worked with the entire team at the clinic. "They were all so amazing. They kept telling me 'You can do this'. They challenge you but they won't hurt you."
"I found them to be caring, competent, responsive, patient and encouraging. Progress is measured in such little bitty steps when you are in my situation and because they genuinely care, they notice."
"Here they work with you to help you achieve your own goals," Carol continued. "I wanted to plant bulbs so Stacy worked with me to figure out the best way to accomplish that."
"Carol is a classic over achiever," pointed out Keith. "The great part was that she had faith in the professionals working with her and she wasn't about to accept anything less than 100% for herself."
"I want to walk, jog and climb. I did my home exercises and walked in stores after each session. You wouldn't believe how far I've come. I remember when I first climbed on a step. I went home and told everyone, 'You won't believe what I did today!'"
"I don't have a limp! I can now wear heels occasionally and I can cross my legs and sit on the floor Indian style," she said as she re-crossed her legs to demonstrate her agility.
Now, discharged from physical therapy and a member of the Wellness Program, Carol is striving towards her new goal: to hop. "I only have one body so I need to take care of it and here they make sure I do it right."
"I could never have done this without them. This team is STELLAR."