Sixty-five-year old Ronald Rochester fell on a patch of ice while walking his dog. He landed on his head and neck fracturing his C4, C5, C6 vertebrae, and shattering multiple disks. As a result, he developed central spinal cord syndrome.
When Ronald arrived at HealthSouth York, he was confined to a wheelchair, had limited use of his arms, and could not use his hands. He set a goal for himself upon discharge – to walk out of the hospital unassisted.
To achieve this goal, his therapists focused on building strength and balance to enable him to walk and climb stairs. Much of his therapy was conducted in the hospitals indoor swimming pool.
Ronald received numerous benefits from his aquatic therapy program at HealthSouth York. Aquatic Therapy decreased the weight bearing normally required to complete tasks such as walking and climbing stairs.
Ronald moved around with less help from his therapist and did not need to rest as often due to the extra support of the water. The water pressure increased his sensation and proprioception, so he could better understand the positioning of his arms and legs. In addition, the heat of the water helped to decrease his sever muscle spasms.
After nine weeks at HealthSouth York, Ronald’s goal was achieved. A true inspiration to spinal cord injury patients and hospital staff, he walked out of the hospital doors. Unassisted and crossed a toilet paper “finish line” set up by his therapy team.