Crossing the finish line
Despite medical complications during his stay at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of York, Frank Hodgson was able to cross the finish line of rehabilitation with his goals accomplished.
When Frank Hodgson arrived at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of York, Pennsylvania, his primary goal was simple—to walk out of the hospital using only a walker.
A 10-day stay at an acute care hospital due to an episode of C. diff (Clostridium Difficile) left him requiring assistance for all transfers and care. Also suffering from multiple sclerosis and severe arthritis, Frank’s size and medical complexity meant his care team first had to help him learn to move comfortably.
“He was extremely anxious and fearful of moving at all,” said Lori Spangler, Frank’s primary physical therapist. “Frank is a big guy—6'3" and 335 pounds—so no one in acute care had really even tried to get him out of bed.”
After making quick progress during his initial stay, a gout flare up sent Frank back to the acute care hospital. A needed blood transfusion prolonged his stay, casting uncertainty on his ability to accomplish his original list of goals, and opening conversations about employing the use of a motorized wheelchair.
However, with the support of his wife, Becky, and a dedicated team, Frank once again began defying the odds and progressing, moving from standing unassisted to walking within the parallel bars.
“The two of them would be sitting in the lobby watching The World Cup games, so we always knew where to find them,” Lori said. “Being in the lobby allowed more interaction with other people, which also helped Frank's mood during his recovery. Both Frank and his wife have mentioned how much those extra hellos and small gestures meant to them during their time here.”
As Frank’s discharge from HealthSouth York approached, the team planned a graduation ceremony to mark Frank’s successes, complete with a poster showing all his completed goals and a finish line for him to cross as he exited the building. Between tears and refrains of, “You guys are awesome,” Frank crossed the final goal off his list—crossing the finish line unassisted. He has since returned to work, continuing to improve with the help of HealthSouth York.
“Frank's recovery was amazing to be a part of; he never gave up even when it seemed like all the cards were stacked against him,” Lori said. “Looking back at where he started to where he ended up, I don't think any of us could have dreamed of the outcome he achieved. I feel he reminds us that when we work together as a team, with a little good luck along the way, amazing results can happen.”