Tim Bartlett of Lock Haven is a normal guy and likes to tough out sickness on his own. However, in December 2020 after experiencing days of extreme fatigue, pain, and uncontrollable shaking, he and his wife, Beth, decided he needed to go to the Emergency Department at UPMC Williamsport. Little did they know, Tim would end up needing a 10-day stay in the hospital and some extra care with a short stay in UPMC Muncy’s swing-bed unit.
"Everything happened so quickly in the Emergency Department,” said Tim. “They ran a lot of tests and were very thorough. The doctors then decided to admit me for further observation."
On top of the illness that was making him weak and causing his pain, it was also determined that Tim had developed a staph infection. Due to his physical condition, Tim needed to have a port catheter inserted so he could receive medications twice per day. With the port catheter and need for supportive care, he knew he might not be strong enough to go home immediately, but he didn't want to go to a nursing home. Fortunately, the team at UPMC Williamsport found just the right place for him — UPMC Muncy’s swing-bed unit — where he could gain strength while receiving skilled nursing level care.
Tim's wife, Beth, said that based on how Tim was treated in the Emergency Department, she knew UPMC Muncy was the right place to get Tim healthy again.
"My goal was to be strong enough to be home for Christmas," said Tim. "The private room at Muncy was important to me both physically and mentally."
COVID-19 caused some restrictions for the physical and occupational therapy team at Muncy, but they improvised to make sure Tim was active and gaining strength every day. They brought resistance bands to Tim's room to get a workout without having to be exposed to more people in the facility.
"We saw that the staff were busy caring for patients, including those with COVID-19, so we knew they had many challenges," said Beth. "Despite that, we felt Tim was getting the best possible care."
Beth remembers how accommodating the staff was, knowing visitors were limited. "Because I was the only one that could visit Tim, the staff would talk to Tim while he was walking the hallways — just trying to keep him company."
"I felt the more I was doing physically, the better I would do mentally," said Tim. "That was calming to me and gave me hope that I would be home by Christmas.”
Tim felt the facility's size allowed the care providers to give him more one-on-one care, and the physical therapy staff could keep challenging him to do more. He had a goal to reach and he was doing what he could to attain it.
On December 22, Tim was discharged from the swing-bed unit and sent home to enjoy Christmas.
Beth said getting that extra care meant everything, "He is back to himself again."
“Given what a challenging time the pandemic was for everyone working in the facility, the entire staff was awesome," added Tim. “I was so happy to make it home for the holidays and it wouldn’t have been possible without the care I received from the staff at UPMC.”
UPMC offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation in Muncy, Williamsport, Lock Haven, Coudersport, Wellsboro, Mansfield, and the surrounding areas. For more information on how UPMC Rehabilitation Services can help you get your active lifestyle back, visit us online.