Herbert Bushnell with Crystal Womack, physical therapist assistant

When Herbert Bushnell fell from a ladder 15 feet high and fractured both his ankles and his L4 lumbar vertebrae, he suddenly went from full mobility to not being able to stand or walk.


His journey to recovery led him to Life Care Center of Hixson, Tennessee, on Sept. 12, 2019, for physical rehabilitation and mental and emotional encouragement.


When Bushnell started his physical and occupational therapies, he had to sit and pivot to transfer from one surface to another, and he needed moderate assistance with lower-body dressing and some assistance with bathing and bed mobility. Therapists started with working on core exercises and other strengthening exercises from a sitting or lying down position.


Bushnell took part in physical therapy seven days a week and occupational therapy five days a week, and therapists used special equipment to help him get around, including a knee scooter and an iWalk hands-free crutch that he could use with a rolling walker.


“Herb demonstrated great focus, energy and motivation in therapy,” said Crystal Womack, physical therapist assistant. “He was open to trying new devices for his right leg, allowing him to reach his goals to return home to his wife sooner.”


Bushnell went home on Oct. 25, able to walk, manage steps and take care of his activities of daily living once again.


“Therapy helped me get back my strength, mobility and confidence,” Bushnell said. “Thanks to all for their dedication, advice, encouragement and yes, tough love. I haven’t felt this much love since I was a young boy. Life Care has brought me back to the warmth and fellowship I used to take for granted.”