Patricia's Story

Patricia Randall sits in her wheelchair outside Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital.

Patricia “Pat” Randall, 73, is a retired secretary who enjoys spending time with her husband, John, and their dog, Onix. A Las Vegas resident for seven years, she enjoys visiting the dog park, seeing shows on The Strip and going out to eat.

Severe stomach pain sent Pat to her local hospital where she had emergency surgery to remove part of her bowel. Following surgery, Pat couldn’t breathe or walk on her own and had a colostomy bag (an external pouch that collects the food waste from the colon). She spent five months in the hospital on a ventilator. Upon liberation from the machine, Pat was transferred to Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital to continue her recovery.

Upon admission, Pat’s goals were to regain her balance, walk and use the bathroom independently. Her physical therapy team immediately got to work with Pat on gaining strength and confidence for mobility using the standing frame and walking in the parallel bars. Pat recalls how thrilled she felt when she used the standing frame and was able to stand for the first time in five months.

Her physical therapy team helped her build the strength she needed to get out of bed, go down a step and transfer to a car simulator with her husband present for training. Pat was grateful for the car simulator as the practice gave her the confidence that she would be able to transfer in and out of her own car successfully when she got home.

Pat’s occupational therapy team helped her with the use of her colostomy bag, worked with her on getting on and off the toilet and facilitated education and mobility in a simulated home setting to help ease her anxiety and concerns about managing at home and in the community. Since Pat enjoys going out to eat, the team worked with her on specific skills for dining in a restaurant to help build her confidence and independence.

She was also appreciative of the extensive family training, including the hands-on experience her husband received with the therapists by his side to ensure he would be comfortable helping Pat safely navigate steps, walk, get in and out of the shower and get on and off the toilet.

Pat discharged from Dignity Health Rehabilitation Hospital after three weeks. She described her rehabilitation experience as, “Beyond words. I wasn’t sure I would ever be able to walk again, but with the assistance of the physical and occupational therapists, I regained both my ability to walk and the confidence in my ability to take care of myself at home.“

After discharge, Pat was looking forward to returning home to her family and Onix. She encourages anyone who is looking for a rehabilitation hospital to consider Dignity Health, “They are well trained and have all the therapy equipment needed for successful rehabilitation. They will get you back home.”