In June of 2011, David B. was 47 when a tooth infection spread to his heart causing him to need a valve repair. Once he arrived at the emergency department at UPMC McKeesport, he was placed on a ventilator and stabilized. That same day, David was flown by helicopter to UPMC Shadyside. A CT scan done there revealed that side effects from the infection had caused a massive stroke. David spent approximately one month in a coma in intensive care and was transferred to a long-term acute-care facility — where he came out of the coma in mid-August — until he was stable enough to be transferred for the next level of rehabilitation. In October, David was transferred to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation facility, but was not walking or responding very quickly to therapies. When the therapists recommended that David was ready for more intensive rehabilitation, they suggested a few inpatient facilities in the city of Pittsburgh. David and his mother, Ruth, decided they wanted him to be admitted into the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC McKeesport due to the convenience of the location and their familiarity with the hospital and staff.
“My mother lives close to UPMC McKeesport, and she was able to visit me every day. She also used to work there. It really is a first-rate place — my nurses were outstanding and all of the therapists were great,” David says. “I still go visit them from time to time.”
“When he was in the hospital after the stroke, doctors didn’t think he would live, and if he did, they said he wouldn’t walk or talk,” Ruth adds. “The nurses and physical therapists at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute were the ones that got him to stand up and walk.”
David went home in May of 2012, and continued outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy at UPMC McKeesport for a few months, with the same therapists he saw during his inpatient rehabilitation. He still cannot use his left arm or hand, but he can move them, and he’s seen a lot of improvement over the last few years, which he and Ruth attribute to the care David received at UPMC. He is now able to walk with a quad cane and is still doing at-home rehab with a personal therapist.
“For him to even be able to dress himself and walk around is a major accomplishment,” Ruth says. “If it hadn’t been for the right people at the right time at UPMC, he probably would not be where he is today.”
“We’d recommend the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC McKeesport to anyone,” David adds.
*David’s mother, Ruth, is a retired UPMC employee.