Left to right: Tabitha Mento, nurse; Amanda Luttrell, physical therapist assistant; Karen Mearns, occupational therapist; Robert Vanasse; Willie Mack, nurse; and Marliana Mathis, nursing assistant

In May 2019, Robert Vanasse was undergoing surgery when he went into respiratory failure, causing him to go into a coma for over two months.

 

While in a coma, Vanasse relied on a ventilator to help him breathe, and he became very weak. When he awoke, he could not walk, balance, get out of bed or even move freely in bed. He also could not perform daily self-care tasks like bathing and dressing without total assistance.

 

“When I woke up from a coma, I realized what a pathetic shape I was in,” said Vanasse. “I insisted on coming here [Life Care Center of Jefferson City] for therapy. When I arrived, I could not lift my feet off the bed or lift my arms.”

 

Vanasse came to the facility on July 26, where he participated in physical and occupational therapies.

 

Physical therapists used strengthening exercises and special equipment to help Vanasse regain his mobility, while occupational therapists focused on retraining him in his activities of daily living.

 

On Sept. 12, Vanasse completed therapy. He could get out of bed, balance and even walk with independence. He could also complete all of his everyday self-care and hygiene tasks without assistance.

 

“I can wash and take care of myself, and I can walk,” said Vanasse. “I am coming back here for outpatient therapy to continue to work on my balance, and I aim to achieve an even higher level of functioning. I think this place has really good therapy.”

 

Vanasse is looking forward to continuing therapy and working toward complete independence, and his therapists are excited to be there for him every step of the way.