Left to right: Priscilla Clemons, occupational therapist assistant; Debbie Pennington, physical therapist assistant; Jodi Kafka; Bobby Grayson, occupational therapist; and Shannon Rainwater, COTA

Thirty-one-year-old Jodi Kafka didn’t expect to be needing rehabilitation in a skilled nursing facility.


However, after a car accident caused her multiple injuries, including a broken right pelvis, dislocated femur, fractured rib and displaced sternum, it was therapy at Life Care Center of Hixson, Tennessee, that got this young woman back to her normal life and her children.


Kafka is a mother of two and works for a research firm.


When Kafka first arrived on July 9, 2018, she needed moderate assistance with bathing and dressing, as well as some assistance with her grooming tasks, transfers from one surface to another and sitting balance. She was unable to walk or stand until she was cleared to bear weight a few weeks before going home.


Physical and occupational therapies were the key to Kafka’s recovery. Therapists used electrical stimulation and Game Ready (a compression and cryotherapy device) to help reduce pain and promote healing. They worked with her six days a week with various strengthening exercises and therapeutic activities, helping her practice the movements and skills she would need at home.


“Jodi worked really hard and was motivated,” said Debbie Pennington, physical therapist assistant. “She did her homework outside of the skilled treatments and completed the exercises.”


Kafka’s family also supported her through her rehab process, especially her parents.


“Everyone on my unit was wonderful – nurses, certified nursing assistants and all the staff,” said Kafka. “Siskin had told me that Life Care Center of Hixson was the best facility, and they were right! It is like a family here. When I arrived, I could only do a bed transfer, and now I am going back home, walking and caring for my two kids.”


Kafka returned home on Aug. 30.