Life Care Centers of America
Heidi Pino, Life Care Public Relations

It’s always a joy for therapists to see a complete turnaround for their patients, and therapists at Life Care Center of Gray, Tennessee, recently had the privilege of helping Ruby Kimery with such a recovery.

Ruby came to the facility on Nov. 11, 2020, after a bout with sepsis that left her in need of total assistance with all her mobility. She needed extensive assistance with bathing and dressing and moderate assistance with swallowing as well.

All three therapy disciplines helped Ruby to recover.

Physical therapists had to begin with the basics of therapeutic exercise and bed mobility. She needed a lot of assistance to be able to even sit up. She had obstacles to overcome, including nausea, and therapy had to adjust for the day depending on how she was feeling. She later began working on walking using several assistive devices until she found the most appropriate device: a quad cane.

Occupational therapists began with strengthening Ruby’s upper body to assist her in functional tasks. Later, they moved on to her activities of daily living and performing them safely for a smooth transition home. She initially displayed decreased functional activity tolerance and had to slowly work on increasing her ability to complete tasks.

Speech therapists worked on oropharyngeal strengthening exercises. Ruby initially got tired during meals, making it difficult for her to complete a meal. The speech therapist taught her exercises and strategies to improve this and get her swallowing skills back to normal.

“The therapy team never got discouraged with me,” Ruby said. “They just kept working with what I was able to do.”

Ruby regained her independence and was able to return home on Dec. 14, in time to spend Christmas with her family.

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