In March 2016, Wally Emberson-Nash fell while his wife was away from home.
Using his Life Alert® to get help, Emberson-Nash was taken to the hospital, where he was diagnosed with a blood clot on his windpipe and a severe head wound.
After a month and a half stay at the hospital, Emberson-Nash arrived at Life Care Center of South Hill in Puyallup, Washington. He was unable to sit up at the edge of the bed on his own, requiring assistance for grooming and hygiene, self-feeding, getting in and out of chairs and maintaining his head position. He was unable to swallow and had to be fed by a feeding tube. He was even unable to use a call light.
The therapy team evaluated Emberson-Nash and started him on an intense road to recovery, with physical and occupational therapies seven days a week and speech therapy five days a week.
“They say it is a miracle that I am here,” said Emberson-Nash.
He attributes his success to good old-fashioned therapy. He soon was able to sit on the edge of his bed, use a standard wheelchair and stand in the parallel bars. Therapists used the LiteGait® when he first started walking, but he quickly transitioned to using a walker.
During speech therapy, Emberson-Nash focused on spontaneous speech production, speech patterns, sounding out words and safely swallowing liquids.
“I was unintelligible when I got here,” Emberson-Nash shared.
Now Emberson-Nash is able to tell his own story.
He has an unwavering commitment to participating as fully as possible, asking for home exercises to complete outside of therapy. He does all of this with his wife by his side daily and strong family support.
Emberson-Nash can now walk with a walker, complete basic bed mobility and shave himself. He is off of the feeding tube and eating and drinking normally again.
“It’s a miracle that I have come so far,” he said. “It is all down to the therapy I have received. It’s teamwork. Everyone does their bit, like a unit that focuses on getting you home.”
Emberson-Nash joked, “I might not want to go home, with the service they have here.”
He has since discharged to inpatient rehabilitation at MultiCare Good Samaritan Hospital. Emberson-Nash’s work with the therapists at Life Care Center of South Hill helped him regain the strength and stamina he needed in order to get into the hospital’s intensive rehab program and complete his journey to recovery.