After losing his second leg below the knee due to complications of diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, Leroy Fowler needed help getting back home.
Leroy had completed rehabilitation at Life Care Center of Port St. Lucie, Florida, when he had his first amputation in 2019, and he chose to return after his second on June 16, 2021. When he arrived, he needed extensive assistance for transfers in and out of bed, as well as some help with bed mobility, sitting balance, bathing and dressing.
Physical and occupational therapists developed a plan with Leroy for how to accomplish his goals of regaining his independence. Physical therapy addressed strengthening his remaining upper legs, increasing his balance, fitting and training him in his new prosthetic leg, improving his gait and helping him with phantom limb pain management. PTs also helped him learn how to go up and down stairs with his new situation.
Occupational therapists worked with Leroy on activities of daily living, both basic and more advanced, to make sure he would be safe at home. They helped him with upper-body strength to help compensate for the loss of his legs. They educated him on home safety and made recommendations for adaptations for his home, including a bath seat, grab bars and handrails. They also taught him how to complete skin checks to ensure the skin on his leg stumps did not become painful or break down.
The nursing department helped as well with managing his diabetes.
“I want to thank all of the therapists that worked with me,” Leroy said. “They are the ones that pushed me to the successful rehab that I accomplished. They were all highly professional, which made me work as hard as I could.”
Leroy was able to regain his independence in his activities of daily living, including bathing and dressing and caring for his prosthetic legs, and he can get around on his own with a cane and even manage up to 15 steps at a time. He returned home on Aug. 31.