Left to right: Rachel Halter, occupational therapist; Ronald Hickey; and Cheryl Self, physical therapist student

When Ronald Hickey fell at home, he broke his nasal bone and exacerbated his cervical stenosis, a narrowing of the bone around the spinal cord.

 

Hickey’s condition caused him to temporarily lose the ability to move his limbs, and he had spinal fusion surgery. When he came to Life Care Center of Hixson, Tennessee, on May 1, 2019, he needed extensive assistance for walking, getting in and out of bed, bathing and dressing. He needed moderate assistance with bed mobility and standing balance, and he needed some assistance with sitting balance, grooming tasks and self-feeding.

 

Six days a week, physical and occupational therapists worked with Hickey to restore his independence in these areas. With his balance issues, special exercise equipment helped him rebuild strength, endurance and range of motion. The NuStep® seated exercise machine with arm cranks helped him work out his upper and lower body, and the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill® allowed him to practice gait while in a safe, enclosed and reduced-weight environment that took pressure off his joints.

 

“This is a very good place for rehab,” said Hickey. “I was told that Hixson rehab was not as ‘intense’ as [another local rehab center] from the hospital case managers. I would have to disagree with them. It has been great, and at this point I hate to leave.”

 

Hickey completed his therapy plan on Aug. 8, and returned home. He is now independent in his activities of daily living and most of his mobility and just needs supervision for walking.

 

“His determination and willingness to get back to his prior level of function made all the difference!” said Jill Schoolfield, physical therapist assistant.

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