By April Trammell, SLP, DOR, Beacon Harbor Health & Rehabilitation, Rowlett, TX
Jimmy arrived at Beacon Harbor on April 13, 2020. He was in a very devastated state following a spinal fusion, which was compromised, leaving him with hemiparesis from the chest down. Because he was unable to feel his legs and feet, he was having frequent falls, required a hospital bed with assist rails in order to maneuver in and out of bed, and was wheelchair-bound. “I was brought to Beacon Harbor for my last days on earth to be comfortable and to give my wife Dianne a respite.”

Plans for Jimmy were to transition here to Beacon Harbor long-term care. But Jimmy had other plans in mind. He was successfully determined to wean off of all pain medication. “Then I started doing therapy — that wore me out — but I had it in my head that I wanted to recover.” Jimmy and his team of therapists were determined to help him gain his independence. “Day after day, week after week, I started improving not just a little bit — a lot! No explanation ‘why’ except my therapy and my willingness to do what is asked of me. They have challenged me on so many things, and they are holding me up, allowing me to improve.” He progressed to being able to transfer independently in and out of bed, and to be able to complete basic self-care such as dressing, bathing and toileting independently. “I feel like I am being rebuilt. There’s something about this place that draws it out of you.”

Jimmy and his therapists continued to focus on neuro re-education, and he slowly began to regain full sensation in his body. “I am able to feel hot water and take a hot shower for the first time in over 35 years!” He did not give up; Jimmy continued to thrive in therapy and began walking with a walker for the first time in 10 years. “I started taking control of my life slow, but every day it was a very hard road to walk down — for myself, for my wife and family. I would say Beacon Harbor is just one of the best rehab centers that I’ve ever been in in this nation, and I have been in quite a few from state to state over the years. The bottom line, Beacon Harbor: You have an amazing PT, OT, ST and Nursing staff. I’m getting ready for my second phase of taking my life back. I’m going to move into assisted living, and from there, back home. Thank you for a second chance at life.”