On Oct. 28, 2019, Ronnie Hodge’s life changed forever.
He relates that he was on his way home from work when he saw a car pull out in front of him. Despite all his efforts to avoid an accident, the vehicles collided.
Ronnie said that he felt as if his whole body was numb. He recalls lying in the car with emergency workers and neighbors praying over him. He was transported to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville, where he was diagnosed with Brown Sequard syndrome at the C3 level of his cervical spinal cord and incomplete quadriplegia at levels C1-C4. He underwent surgery and stayed at UT for 12 days and was then transferred to Patricia Neal Rehabilitation Center, where he stayed for 36 more days.
Ronnie transferred to Ridgeview Terrace of Life Care in Rutledge, Tennessee, on Dec. 12.
“I had no idea what to expect, but I was welcomed with open arms and lots of love and attention,” Ronnie recalls. “I had prayed to God and wondered why He left me in this shape, but I knew I was here for a reason.”
Ronnie immediately began his rehab with physical and occupational therapy. Upon evaluation, he required total care for basic self-care tasks, such as feeding himself, dressing and hygiene/grooming activities. His bed mobility and transfers required maximum assistance. His sitting balance was impaired, and he could only tolerate sitting in a wheelchair for two hours. He was only able to stand for 30 seconds before requiring a rest break.
Ronnie quickly began to see improvement, and he continued to get stronger every day. His goals of being able to return home and back to work became more realistic.
By the end of six weeks, Ronnie went home having made dramatic improvements. He was able to feed himself with only setup assistance and needed only minimal assistance with dressing and hygiene/grooming tasks. He was independent with transfers to/from his wheelchair and was able to walk 200 feet with a rolling walker.
Shanna Bennett, physical therapist assistant, had this to say of Ronnie: “He has amazed himself on how far he has come. His drive is out of this world. The more he does, the more he wants to do and succeed.”
During Ronnie’s time at Ridgeview Terrace, Dr. Mark Holland, our medical director, became a driving force to finish a project that Ronnie had started before his accident. He had begun construction of a carport beside his home. Dr. Holland inquired if anyone in the community was going to help finish the project.
Other associates got involved, including Lisa Cabbage, activities director, who helped organize and secure donations to finish the project. Randy Morgan, maintenance director, and Amy Cabbage, physical therapist assistant, along with help from the Grainger Baptist Association, donated their time to help finish the project. After working their jobs during the day, associates worked in the evenings alongside men from surrounding churches to finish the carport.
Ronnie went home on Jan. 26, 2020. He continues his rehabilitation at Ridgeview Terrace on an outpatient basis and continues to make improvements in all aspects of his mobility and self-care.
With tears in his eyes, Ronnie said he has never felt so loved by Ridgeview Terrace and his community.
“We are all family,” he explained as he walked out the door.