Gilberto Garcia is a delightful, 59-year-old gentleman. Gilberto suffered an injury to his left foot, but the injury wasn’t healing properly. Two weeks after sustaining the injury, the wound was increasing in size. Gilberto reported diminished sensation as the foot swelled. He also noticed a foul smell coming from the wound. He went to the emergency department at University Medical Center to get it checked out. They diagnosed Gilberto with necrotizing fasciitis. Gilberto required a below-the-knee amputation.
After the surgery, Gilberto transferred to Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital. As a new amputee, Gilberto had functional impairments to address and new skills to learn. He also needed to continue to heal from the surgery.
Gilberto completed his antibiotic course without difficulty. The wound from his surgery continued to heal nicely. He also began his interdisciplinary rehab program. The team included medical management by a physician specializing in rehabilitative care. Highlands’ nursing staff handled wound care, vitals, pain assessment, and administration of medication. Physical therapy addressed mobility and transfers and occupational therapy worked on activities of daily living and self-care. Nutrition made sure Gilberto’s dietary needs were met, while social work handled discharge planning.
Gilberto was set up for success. And he worked hard to make sure he achieved that success. When Gilberto discharged from Highlands, he was modified independent for all mobility, except for long distances, which required supervision. Likewise, for all activities of daily living, he was independent or modified independent.
The staff at Highlands made an impact on Gilberto. “‘The therapists were memorable to me, providing me with the support necessary in order to build my strength and continue my lifestyle,” he said. “The hospital excelled in every service, including the food. The social workers even provided assistance in regards to getting insurance paperwork in line. Everything at Highlands was great, and if I could give it a rating from 0 to 100, I would rate it a 100!”