Michael Paul Walker, 44, could barely grasp his phone or a glass of water after suffering complications from acute respiratory distress syndrome attributed to pneumonia.
Terry Butler, 57, a heart transplant patient from out of state, needed help moving around after recovering from a below the knee amputation of his left leg.
Beulah Taylor, 64, who has been blind but independent since her onset of diabetes more than a decade ago, is a recent out-of-state liver transplant patient who needed assistance with getting back to her normal day-to-day activities.
While these patients are each facing different medical challenges, they all share the same need for comprehensive rehabilitation in a setting that handles some of the most complex medical conditions. To meet this need, Memorial Rehabilitation Institute at Memorial Regional Hospital South has opened a new Medically Complex Rehabilitation Unit with telemetry capabilities that is designed to get patients back on their feet and in the most optimal level of functionality.
Through a unique blending of medical and rehabilitation services, patients can potentially come to rehabilitation earlier while still being in the best medical setting to optimize their progress and outcomes. Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, (CARF), this new 15–bed unit is equipped with private rooms and an 8,000-square-foot-gym with specialized equipment and technologies designed to treat patients who are recovering from various complex medical conditions. The unit is located at Memorial Regional Hospital South, 3600 Washington Street in Hollywood.
“This unit represents an expansion and yet another milestone in our commitment to serving South Florida as a world-class destination rehabilitation unit” said Doug Zaren, CEO of Memorial Regional Hospital South. “Our team of physicians, therapists, nurses, social workers, case managers, administrators and other healthcare professionals will work directly with patients and families to set and Go Beyond their goals and expectations for recovery.”
For Walker, a transportation coordinator for Broward County Public Schools and avid cyclist, the unit provided him with the therapy needed to get back to normal like having the strength and balance to stand up and walk again, regain mobility so that he could hold his phone, type on his computer or simply grasp a glass and successfully drink a beverage.
“I lost more than 50 lbs.in just two weeks of having my episode with pneumonia and then needed surgery to have cardiac surgery from just getting sick,” said Walker. “The staff gave me the confidence and therapy I needed to gain my strength, agility and motivation to move forward.”
For Butler, the process was just as impactful. “I am the kind of person who likes to be active at all times. Going through this surgery set me back a bit but after working with a physical therapist, he got me moving, working out and providing me with the motivation that I needed.”
The Medically Complex Rehabilitation Unit specializes in treating patients requiring additional and complex medical care including, but not limited to, cancer patients, bariatric patients, cardiac patients, post-transplant patients, and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as well as individuals who have had prolonged hospitalizations. The unit may also admit patients who may require telemetry monitoring while undergoing a comprehensive rehabilitation program.
“This is about connecting with the patient and establishing a rapport with the patient that provides them with the motivation to go beyond what they think they are unable to accomplish in their rehabilitation,” said Benjamin Leubitz, Occupational Therapist at the unit.