In May 2015, a painful small disc-shaped nodule on the back of her heel became intolerable. Irene Hebert went to the emergency room and she was sent home with a protective boot. But, the pain persisted and she returned two days later. Finally, after several days of observation, physicians realized the pain was the result of an infection. What’s worse was it was MRSA. She was immediately taken to Baystate Health Medical Center in Springfield, where physicians realized the infection had dangerously spread to her spine. Antibiotics were not working, so surgery was done in the hopes of resolving the MRSA infection. Throughout the ordeal, Irene was in an induced coma, and was unconscious for nearly four weeks. When she awoke, while the surgery had successfully removed the infection, Irene was essentially paralyzed from her waist down. Her family feared she’d never walk again. Transferred to Baystate Noble Hospital in Westfield for acute rehabilitation services, Irene did regain the slightest of movement in her feet. Still, after three and a half weeks there, she remained fully dependent. It was at Mount Carmel Care Center where she made strides that she describes as “miraculous.”
Mount Carmel Care Center’s Interdisciplinary Treatment Program
Arriving at Mount Carmel Care Center on June 30th, Irene was completely dependent, unable to transfer or even sit up on her own. Her condition left her dependent upon the use of a catheter.
Nursing and Rehabilitative Therapies
- Nurses managed the in-dwelling Foley catheter and worked with the urologist to regain normal bladder function.
- Intense, daily physical and occupational therapy followed a goal-oriented regimen to get Irene back on her feet.
- Passive therapy helped her regain feeling and movement in her feet, legs and lower body.
- As she regained movement in her legs, therapists worked on strengthening exercises to help her begin to increase her ability to transfer, stand and begin to walk with assistance.
- Occupational therapy focused on activities of daily living, upper body strength and skills to readapt to home living.
Irene reached some remarkable milestones: Standing for the first time, taking her first step and, then, her first few steps. It was easy to recall those moments because they drew cheers of happy encouragement and congratulations from the entire staff. Her success was the staff’s success, as Irene put it, “I’ve never met so many nice people in one place in my whole life.” She was discharged on November 9th, able to ambulate with a walker.
In Her Own Words
“I can’t say enough about the place. If it wasn’t for them I’d still be in a wheelchair. I’d recommend Mount Carmel to anyone. They were just so encouraging. Honest to God, they were awesome!”