Seeing a patient transition from a ventilator to walking is truly the most lifesaving event in a patient’s life. But as a healthcare professional, it’s always very exciting to see the end result of an Acuity patient’s outcome and hear the success story.
Claire Brown, BSN, RN, Director of Provider Relations
Melvin Jones walked into the emergency room of a community hospital just four days after Christmas in 2017 and 14 days before he turned 47. This visit was one of multiple visits he had taken to an ER, so he wasn’t unduly alarmed from what he saw.
At first, Jones felt as if he had a bad cold. But what might have begun as a cold, soon turned into pneumonia. What Jones didn’t realize was that he would soon need help to breathe and to be kept alive.
His condition was extremely serious. To complicate matters, Jones had other health problems. He was a diabetic with only one functioning kidney. He had survived a 12-year battle with cancer that had left him susceptible to infections.
When I saw Jones for the first time, he was heavily sedated, on a ventilator, and in a room in the intensive care unit with subdued lighting. After his breathing was stabilized, he was transferred to Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey.
On a cold and blustery day, which happened to be his birthday, he was transported to Acuity Specialty Hospital in Willingboro, where he would begin to make his recovery.
As his one functioning kidney started to fail, Jones began hemodialysis treatments, which made him very weak.
His aunt Maybelle Pierce, who is a retired nurse, remembers how very caring and attentive to her nephew’s needs the Acuity staff had been. “Dr. Sharma was also able to answer all my questions,” she said. Within six days of arrival at Acuity, Jones was removed from the ventilator. His last hemodialysis treatment was on Jan. 19, 2018.
Karen Kudart, COTA, remembers Jones being very determined and committed to becoming mobile again.
After Jones was discharged from Acuity in Willingboro, on Feb. 2, 2018, I visited him at Bacharach Institute for Rehabilitation in Pomona, NJ. He was sitting in a chair with a grin on his face. He also showed me how he could stand with ease.
Brett Gottman OT/L, his therapist at Bacharach, shared with me, that during the time Jones had been there, he had progressed from sitting to walking unaided. On Feb. 11, with a few adaptive devices to make his life easier, Jones went home.
As a healthcare professional, this is just one success story that reminds me each and every day that what we do here at Acuity Specialty Hospital is a vital part of the healthcare continuum for patients and their families.
By Claire Brown, BSN, RN, Director of Provider Relations
Pictured here, Melvin Jones.