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Tyson Woody suffered a head-on automobile collision on Oct. 20, 2017, that caused him multiple fractures and internal damage.


He spent three months in hospitals healing from his injuries.


Before Woody could return home, however, he needed rehabilitation, and he came to Life Care Center of Wichita, Kansas, on Jan. 19, 2018. By that time, his health had improved some, but he had a long way to go. He needed moderate assistance for most of his self-care and some assistance for all of his mobility, from walking to getting in and out of bed to wheeling himself in a wheelchair. Even his swallowing had been impacted by the accident.


The nursing staff took care of Woody’s specialized wound care needs with a wound VAC, vacuum-assisted wound closure. Five to six days a week, Woody also worked with physical, occupational and speech therapists to regain his independence.


“Tyson required very specialized care,” said Natalie Merten, director of rehab services. “He suffered from severe orthostatic hypotension, and we had to advance his mobility very slowly and with appropriate cardiac reaction.”


Therapists taught Woody techniques such as moving his legs frequently for better circulation and not holding his breath. Occupational therapists paid special attention to seating and positioning, in addition to helping him relearn his activities of daily living. Physical therapists helped him with strengthening exercises, gait training and balance, and speech therapists helped him improve his swallowing skills so he could avoid a respiratory infection from aspiration (having food or liquid particles go down the windpipe instead of the esophagus).


“Tyson was highly motivated to regain his independence as demonstrated by his positive attitude and eagerness to participate with all of his therapy team,” said Merten.


Woody is now able to walk on his own using a four-wheel walker. He can manage his self-care independently and swallow normally again.


“The therapy I received was all-important to my recovery,” said Woody. “This facility took me in, cared for me and improved my life. Thank you!”


On March 21, Woody returned home.