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Posted by Positive Aging Community on 12/19/2016

Help to Heal

Help to Heal

Bob Bolle swam a mile on Thursday. The next day, his wife, Mary Jane, found him lying on their bed unable to move. This terrifying experience was the beginning of a long journey to heal—a journey that led Bob to Mt. Vernon Nursing & Rehab Center. Located in Alexandria, Va., Mt. Vernon Nursing & Rehab Center has been providing quality care to local residents for more than 35 years. The Center is a 5-star Medicare rated facility and has long been recognized for deliveringexceptional nursing care and rehabilitation therapies. Mt. Vernon Nursing & Rehab Center’s primary focus is on helping patients restore their life’s balance and become well again.

An attorney by trade, Bob spent much of his career in Washington, D.C., including a brief stint at the Treasury Department in the Office of Tax Policy. He also served on the U.S. Tax Court. When he was not at work, Bob and Mary Jane enjoyed sailing with friends. Bob was also an avid swimmer, swimming almost daily for decades.

When Bob and Mary Jane came to Mt. Vernon Nursing & Rehab Center, they were in crisis. Overnight, Bob had become desperately ill. He went from a healthy and active person to someone who was bedridden and struggling to even swallow.

“It was very sudden. I came home from work and went upstairs and found him on the bed, and he couldn’t move,” recalled Mary Jane. “At the hospital, they had no idea what was going on, but his temperature kept rising and his body started swelling.”

Bob was placed in intensive care. Over the course of the next few weeks, the hospital struggled to diagnose his mysterious illness—ordering 12 MRIs, 6 CAT scans and 2 spinal taps. “They wanted to do a brain biopsy, but I refused,” Mary Jane said. “I didn’t want to put him through anything more because I thought he was going to die anyway. I think the medical professionals thought so too.”

While Bob recalls very little from the experience, he does recollect hearing the nurses talk about him like he was going to die. “I just remember thinking that there was no way I was going to die in that hospital,” he said. “Things went uphill from there.”

Bob’s improvements were remarkable and cause for celebration, but they also meant that he would soon be discharged from the hospital. Mary Jane knew she could never provide the care he needed in their home.

“Bob could barely swallow. He couldn’t turn over or sit up. He was almost totally paralyzed, and they wanted to release him from the hospital,” Mary Jane remembered. “I knew I could not take care of him. My insurance wouldn’t pay for nursing care. I had no idea what to do.”

Bob ultimately recalled that Bob DeMaria, one of the Bolle’s neighbors, was an Administrator at Mt. Vernon Nursing & Rehab Center. The next day, Mary Jane left a note on Bob’s door asking if they could take her husband as a private pay patient—immediately. He agreed and referred the Bolles to the business office, which even helped them get Medicare to pay for some of Bob’s care.

During the next five months, Bob received the rehabilitation services that he needed—including physical, occupational and speech therapy. “I have nothing but the highest regard for MVNRC and the people who work there,” Bob said. “My primary caregivers were outstanding people who really got me going and kept me motivated.”

Bob noted that the caregivers consistently provided exceptional care. “I had an old back injury that gave me a lot of trouble,” he recalled. “At first, I couldn’t really do the physical therapy because I was in so much pain by the time I got downstairs. So, they got creative and started doing the therapy in my room.”

As Bob started to regain his strength, the physical therapists, nurses and assistants continued to push him to reach his maximum potential. Mt. Vernon is different from other facilities in that therapy is available six or seven days a week, as opposed to the industry-standard five days a week. “Early on, having therapy so often meant a big difference for my recovery. I wasn’t allowed to regress. I was always encouraged to stay with it,” Bob said.

With nearly daily physical therapy and round-the-clock care, Bob’s health continued to improve over the next several months. Gradually, Bob was able to begin walking with arm crutches. He also gained back most of the weight he had lost during his illness, returning to a healthy weight and regaining lost muscle mass.

“The staff at MVNRC was incredible,” Bob concluded. “They were always willing to create and try anything and do anything they could to help me.”

Bob came to Mt. Vernon Nursing & Rehab Center on a stretcher. Five months later, he walked out the front door and back into his life. While he continues to go to physical therapy and gain strength, he credits his miraculous recovery largely to the staff members at Mt. Vernon who were so committed to helping him heal.

At MVNRC, “Restoring Life’s Balance” is more than a slogan. It is a commitment that is demonstrated every day by every staff member; it is a relentless dedication to helping every patient live his or her best life.

By Christy Brudin

For more information, Enter Keyword: Mt. Vernon Nursing & Rehab Center

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