Excellence in Action- Restoring Motivation & Independence: A Complete Turnaround!

Our facility in Brandon, MS, had a patient who was admitted following a right partial foot amputation, which required a wound vac on the surgical site. He also had a prior Left Below-Knee Amputation (BKA), so the partial foot amputation was very discouraging to him.  The patient has a history of family complications, which required him to live with his elderly mother. The home was not a positive or cleanly environment, with several animals inside and family members moving in and out.  The patient had fallen asleep on the couch in his home and dogs gnawed on his foot while he was sleeping. He also has a history of peripheral neuropathy, which impacted his ability to feel the dogs biting on his foot.  This resulted in a terrible infection, which eventually required the partial foot amputation. 

When this patient admitted to our facility, he was dependent for all self-care, activities of daily living (ADLs) and transfers.  In addition, he was depressed, his appearance was unkempt (including long, shaggy hair and a long beard), and he had very little hope and motivation to return to being independent in any aspect of his life.

During the first week of therapy, with encouragement and motivation from our therapy team and other care partners, the patient cleaned up, after getting his hair cut and beard shaved.  He also gained a different outlook on life.  He became motivated to improve his health, and decided he was willing to do whatever it took for him to walk again and regain his independence.

The patient was evaluated with the Balancing Act Specialty Evaluation, as he initially presented with deficits in sitting balance, and required intervention for standing balance as he progressed through his therapy.  Paul, PTA, and Alisha, COTA, worked with this patient from admission to discharge.  Through Alisha’s Occupational Therapy (OT) interventions, the patient was able to obtain his goals of becoming independent with ADLs and with functional transfers, using sliding board and stand-pivot techniques.  He was able to get himself out of bed and to gather items needed for a sponge bath at the sink.  Upon OT discharge, he was completely dressing himself and performing toileting without assistance.

In addition to addressing balance, Paul, PTA worked with a local prosthetic clinic to get a custom prosthetic device for the patient. The patient was so excited about getting the prosthetic device and loved the custom graphic design he was able to put on the device.  Physical Therapy (PT) worked with the patient to address the prosthetic process for his left lower extremity and worked on gait training with the prosthetic device.  PT started with standing and gait training with parallel bars, before progressing to using a rolling walker down the hallway.  The patient is now able to walk using a rollator for gait training and is walking over 150 feet with no loss of balance. 

He continues working hard with PT on improving his dynamic standing balance for further independence with walking.  He can independently don/doff his prosthetic left leg and continues to wear a surgical shoe on his right foot due to the partial foot amputation with surgical wounds.  With the improvements he has made for his health and lifestyle, his wound vac treatment was recently discharged.  

The patient continues to be very motivated to obtain his highest attainable level of independence, and he is very happy with the progress he is making daily!

Through the therapy team’s skilled hands, caring hearts and positive spirit, this patient has made a complete turnaround both physically and emotionally!

 ALL IN, Brandon, MS!