Left to right: Dana Masic, physical therapist assistant; Laron Yates; and Jeff Roberts, orthotist and prosthetist

In May 2019, Laron Yates was involved in a fire that caused third-degree burns over more than 20 percent of his body, including his left hand and both legs.


Yates received intense medical attention at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee. He had to have his left leg amputated above the knee and received multiple skin grafts.


On May 30, Yates arrived at Life Care Center of Hixson, Tennessee, for the next step in his recovery. He was bedridden, on a feeding tube and totally dependent on others for his daily care.


The nursing team at the facility, including the certified wound nurses, worked extensively with Yates, and he slowly began working with physical, occupational and speech therapists as well.


Occupational therapists worked with Yates to restore his abilities to take care of himself with such routines as grooming, bathing and dressing, while physical therapists helped him with mobility and balance. Speech therapists joined his care team in June and taught him how to swallow again.


As Yates made progress, he started working with Jeff Roberts, certified orthotist and prosthetist, to obtain a prosthetic leg. PT helped him learn to use his new appendage.


“Laron was able to achieve excellent results due to being highly motivated to participate and get well,” said Dana Masic, physical therapist assistant. “He did all that was asked of him and carried over education from therapists and his prosthetist.”


Yates completed therapy on Aug. 7 and returned home to Flat Rock, Alabama. He is now independent in self-feeding, sitting balance and wheelchair mobility, and he is at a supervision level for his self-care, bed mobility, transfers and standing balance. He requires minimum assistance for walking.


“I have come a long way!” Yates said. “I have been successful here because I have pushed myself and because of rehab helping me. The wound care team helped me tremendously, and I think the world of both of them. Life Care Center of Hixson has helped me get back my life and get home safely with my new leg."

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