Only a month after opening, the first free-standing rehab hospital in Iowa has its first success story.

Michael Currier, 75, a veteran university professor with three doctoral degrees, came to Mercy Rehab Hospital after several frustrating months of rehospitalizations. “No one could figure out what was wrong,” Michael says. For months he suffered with shortness of breath, blood clots and neuro gait and walking issues. “My doc asked if I’d like to be a guinea pig as a first patient at a new rehab hospital and I said, ‘Sure!’ ”

A few days later, on June 12, Michael was admitted to Mercy Rehab. “I went in on the very first Tuesday they were in business and left on a Saturday. I walked out feeling 10 years younger.”

Michael Currier Success Patient

During his stay at Mercy Rehab, Michael underwent occupational, physical and respiratory therapies. He learned new skills, like how to get in and out of a car correctly. (“I had been doing it wrong!”) His gait and balance improved and his breathing improved tremendously. “The therapy team was excellent.  They help me improve. The respiratory therapist was my best friend there. He made all the difference in the world.”

Michael’s Functional Improvement Measure (FIM) score improved by 26 points in five days of treatment at Mercy Rehab, from 89 on admission to 115 at discharge. And the progress has lasted. Now almost a month later, Michael is able to climb stairs, empty the garbage and walk the mall, which he couldn’t do before coming to Mercy. He says he has a lot of endurance these days and wants to use his newfound strength to help out at the hospital that helped him.

“I’ve told everybody I know about how good that place is. They did everything right,” says Michael. “We’ve seen a lot of doctors since and I’ve told them all, you need to know about it! I feel a very strong dedication to the whole enterprise. I’d like to go back to the hospital and organize a volunteer program.”

Michael continues to maintain his strength and function today with outpatient physical therapy twice a week. He’s grateful for all Mercy Rehab Hospital did to help him regain his strength.

By Kindred Hospital Rehabilitation Services