Forty-six-year-old Pete Saenz was a busy man working two jobs and enjoying life with his wife. Yet, his world drastically changed one day in March of 2012 when he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Pete’s diagnosis was severe, causing complete paralysis. He spent 10 months in bed at the hospital with no active movement and his eyes were closed for two and half months. Pete was on a ventilator for over eight months prior moving to HealthSouth.
Pete chose HealthSouth for rehabilitation in hopes of getting his life back. Initially, he was approved by his insurance company for seven days of family training only. When Pete arrived at HealthSouth, he was unable to sit-up, walk or care for himself. Everything was a struggle and his pain was severe. He describes his first day of therapy as “torture.” But, by the fourth day at HealthSouth, Pete was able to sit up to take his first true shower in almost a year.
“As much pain as it caused,” Pete says, “I was very happy to shower and clean up. I felt normal after having been given bed baths for almost a year.”
On his fifth day in rehabilitation, Pete drove his power wheelchair 300 feet with supervision.
Making good progress, Pete was approved for more time at HealthSouth and by day 14, he could sit on the edge of the mat without assistance and could hold a fork.
After five weeks, he left HealthSouth with the ability to feed himself, wash his hands and face, and help with trunk control for his slide board transfers. His days are now spent up and about in his power wheelchair. He credits his rehabilitation team for pushing him and motivating him through three hours of therapy each day.
“All the therapists I had at HealthSouth were, and still are, eager and ready to challenge me so that at the end of the day, I’d feel like I could overcome this,” he comments.
Throughout his inpatient and continued outpatient therapy programs, advanced technologies such as the RT300 and HealthSouth’s own AutoAmbulator® help him prove that everyone, no matter the type of injury or level of function, deserves a chance at rehabilitation.
Today, Pete is at home and continues outpatient therapy here are HealthSouth. He cooks, walks with forearm crutches and recently rode his ATV for the first time.
“I can say this about HealthSouth,” Pete says. “It’s a professional hospital with people who care and have a plan of care that is individual to the person and their illness. They are always ready to work, motivating me and being attentive to my emotions and physical needs. They go out of their way to make you feel like this can be done. Thank you, HealthSouth!”