Bill Yost can walk again. He needs his crutches, but nevertheless, he and his family are thrilled. While most of us take that daily activity for granted, Bill does not. At one point, he could not hold a cup to take a drink, let alone walk.
After two long hospital stays due to a previous condition, Bill was diagnosed with “critical illness polyneuropathy,” which affected his nervous system, and left him weak and disoriented. When he left the hospital, he went to a skilled nursing facility to recover and gain strength. And when he became stronger, his doctor decided that it was time for more intense therapy – the next step towards going home. That’s when he went to HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital in Pleasant Gap.
“Our only regret about HealthSouth is that we could not come sooner!” says Lynette Yost, Bill’s daughter. “The level of therapy that Dad got at HealthSouth was different than any other place he could have gone. That’s why it’s called an acute rehabilitation hospital.”
Lynette was her Dad’s primary healthcare contact, and while she had to drive over an hour each way to visit, she is proud to say that she was at HealthSouth “11 of the 21 days” that he was at the hospital. Lynette recalls, “I was surprised when our case manager encouraged Mom and me to come during Dad’s therapy. We got to see for ourselves how he was doing and to learn, from his therapist, how we could help when he came home.”
HealthSouth Case Manager Amy Adams explains, “We want the families to visit their loved ones during therapy. We can use it as a teaching tool to help them manage better when the patient goes home.” Amy adds, “Bill’s wife and daughter were so supportive of him; that helps a patient stay motivated.”
Lynette says that after the first week at HealthSouth, she started to see changes in her Dad’s strength. “To remember where he was, physically, then to see him at HealthSouth, and now at home…it was a life-changing experience,” says Lynette. “He is determined and working so hard.”
Part of the Antes Fort community since 1965, Bill and his wife, Connie, have been married for 48 years. “Bill was away from home, in hospitals and skilled nursing, for over six months,” Connie explains. “The last 21 days were at HealthSouth, and I was so relieved to see that he was on his way home.”
They are thankful for their healthcare providers, family and friends who have supported them along the way. Bill says, “HealthSouth is part of a larger ‘family’ – the people who reach out to lend their support with visits, phone calls and thoughtful cards – that’s the kind of motivation that helps me continue down the road to recovery.”