It was a long journey for James Sullivan. After a fall, he came to Life Care Center of Orlando, Florida, with multiple wounds on his legs due to cellulitis, a skin infection, including a deep abscess on his left foot. He also had a bone infection in two of his toes on that foot.
James was unable to bear weight on his legs and feet when he arrived on Feb. 9, 2021, and his wound care was complicated by his diabetes. He needed total assistance with all his self-care tasks, as well as bed mobility and getting in and out of bed.
Physical and occupational therapists worked with James to help him reach his goals of regaining independence. With wound care and rehabilitation, as well as close monitoring by his physician, his wounds started to heal. After more than a year, he was allowed to start putting more weight on his legs, and rehab started preparing him for bigger things.
In April 2022, he expressed his desire to return to the community. Therapists started working toward the goal of helping him move independently around the house. They used neuromuscular reeducation, gait training, therapeutic activities and exercises and self-care management training.
On Easter Day, April 17, James was able to leave the facility with his daughter to move in to her house in Alabama. He is now independent in bed mobility and transfers, and he can walk with a front-wheeled walker up to 150 feet at a time. He was also able to take care of himself with some modifications.
“Mr. Sullivan was truly a success story,” said Steven Groom, physical therapist assistant. “He never gave up on his dream of going home, even if it took him more than a year. Some people would have lost hope, but he persevered. He definitely has defied all odds and has now achieved his dream.”