As Mr. William “Bill” Allen began his day on July 5th, he had no idea how his life would be forever changed in an instant. It was an average day; but, it included an appointment for an outpatient radiology visit. He walked through the entrance ready for a good report and when he suddenly fell. His fall ended with him lying subconsciously on his back with a fractured skull. Later at the emergency room of the main campus of Atlanticare Regional Medical Center where he was stabilized. His fracture skull resulted in a large brain hemorrhage and a blood clot within the lining of his skull.
Although Bill does not remember much after his accident, he was airlifted from the hospital’s main campus to Atlanticare Regional Medical Trauma Center in Atlantic City to receive specialized care for his brain trauma.
Bill, 68, had to be intubated and placed on a ventilator to assist his breathing. During his ventilation, he was diagnosed with pneumonia and a chest tube was required. Although, Bill received excellent care during his stay at the trauma center, he required additional long-term acute care to continue his recovery.
On, July 18th, 13 long days after his accident, Bill was transferred to Acuity Specialty Hospital of New Jersey. His newest caregivers knew his condition remained critical and his future recovery uncertain. The Acuity Healthcare medical team knew he needed to begin breathing on his own as soon as possible.
The Acuity Healthcare team of doctors, nurses, respiratory and physical therapists were experience and began his plan of recovery immediately. He received a tracheostomy and Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy tube (PEG tube.) He was then successfully liberated from the ventilator and the tracheostomy was removed. Although, he had experienced further complications after the fall including a heart attack and stroke, this was not the end of Bill’s account. “They kept me alive” he recalls with emotion in his voice. In regard to the Acuity Healthcare team, “They came into my room with such care and concern. Lynette, the Speech Therapist, was fantastic. I had a hard time understanding why she cared about me so much, a total stranger, but it was very obvious that she did.” He made personal relationships with the Acuity Healthcare team and this equipped him with resolve on his most trying days of rehabilitating.
His wife, Donna, agrees. She recalled Michael DeCesero MSW, Director of Case Management “He talked to me on the first day of Bill’s admission. He said if you need anything from me, come to the Nurse’s station and ask for me. He proved to me that he was very well educated and prepared. In fact, he helped me to get Medical Power of Attorney for my Husband.” She went onto to say that she will not forget the first day Bill was awake and alert when she arrived for a visit he said, “Hello cookie buns!” (Bill’s nickname for his wife.) That was the first day she recognized he was on the road to recovery.
Bill was finally discharged to a local Acute Rehabilitation Hospital on August 23, 2016 and was then discharged home with his wife. Recently he was asked how he was doing. He replied that he could run up and down his stairs and was hanging pictures in his lounge. “I can’t do somersaults, but then again, I couldn’t do them before,” he teased.
Mr. Allen, pictured here, recently returned to join us for the Second Annual Acuity Alumni Luncheon. It was such a wonderful day for everyone.