How did this patient hear about the Riverside? Hospital Social Worker, Tour.
Ms. Fern was admitted to The Riverside Premier Rehabilitation and Healing Center from Mount Sinai West on February 21, 2019. Prior to Ms. Fern’s admission, she was a professional choreographer, touring throughout Europe with world-renowned companies. Her passion for dancing started as a child and was blessed to have a career in dance. Three years ago, tragedy ended her career abruptly, she was walking with her devoted brother, and a car went over the curve, pinning her leg. Ms. Fern’s flourishing career ended on that day, with her leg being amputated. Her brothers nurtured her during this life-changing event. She received a prosthetic leg and began to walk with tremendous amounts of difficulty.
A year ago, due to discomfort, Fern stopped using her prosthetic limb after an abscess and soreness prevented her from standing. After consulting her surgeon in January 2019, it was decided that the abscess needed to be removed, and vascular surgery was needed. Her devoted and loving brother had spent three years tending to her needs, never leaving her side. Her vascular surgeon informed them Ms. Fern will need to be placed in a skilled nursing facility in order to ensure her wounds healed and that she becomes reconditioned.
Over a year in a wheelchair took its toll on her physically and emotionally. The star of the stage, who choreographed hundreds of performances, desired nothing more than to learn to walk again and go about living her life. Ms. Fern’s devoted brothers looked throughout New York City to find the best Skilled Nursing Facility for their sister. They arrived for a tour on February 20, 2019, and meet with the Concierge. When the Concierge heard about Ms. Fern’s amputation, he without hesitation spoke of the Riverside Rehabilitation Amputee Walking School taught by Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler, Paralympic Gold Medalists. After hearing that they will personally guide their sister and have our trained therapists teach her to walk again, without hesitation said, “We want her at the Riverside.” Following the tour, both brothers called the hospital social worker at Mount Sinai West and said we have reached our decision.
On February 21, 2019, Ms. Fern entered the Riverside Premier Rehabilitation and Healing Center. Upon admission, she met with her talented medical staff, physical therapists, and occupational therapists. They told her, “The road to recovery begins here.” Ms. Fern was admitted for Hypertension, Muscle Weakness, and abscess removal on her right leg. The entire 14th floor greeted her with open arms from every department. She was very nervous about beginning her therapy and was in a tremendous amount of pain. Her Concierge arranged that Urban Zen would assist in completing an evaluation for her and begin planning integrative therapy sessions. Ms. Fern is an avid Yogi who firmly believes in the power of meditation. The rehabilitation department began its initial evaluation of Ms. Fern and called Dennis and Todd
to create a custom plan of treatment. For the first week, Fern was very nervous and felt pain. The medical staff consulted her surgeon on options for pain management. Once the pain subsided, Ms. Fern was able to truly flourish in her therapy. In her second week at the Riverside, Dennis and Todd arrived to conduct a personal mentorship with her. Results of their interaction and training showed immediately. Ms. Fern was taking her first steps with a walker. She spoke to the Concierge of the 14th floor and showed him her progress as she put on her prosthetic and stood up without any pain. Ms. Fern then took her walker and began taking her first steps. She said, “I couldn’t do this a year ago, and now look at me I am walking again.” With a smile beaming and tears in her eyes, she kept on walking up and down the hallways, into the elevator and strolled into the gym. Ms. Fern’s progress was truly a miracle. She was so confident in her walking, she was dancing upright, and posing in different dance stands.
On March 30, 2019, Ms. Fern was discharged home as she was able to walk again. She needed no assistance from any staff member and did not need to be guided by her brothers. Her independent life did not end on that tragic day. The Riverside was able to help Ms. Fern return to independent living and hopefully return to her lifelong passion for dance. On behalf of the staff at the Riverside Rehabilitation Center, “keep dancing Ms. Fern!”