Several years ago, Terrence Fitzpatrick was involved in a car accident that left him with severe back pain. After living with the pain for some time, he decided to seek medical help. As a result of his injury, he needed thoracic spine surgery with a fusion of five vertebrae. The surgery helped to resolve his pain until he suffered a fall at home. He was left with multiple rib fractures.
During his post-fall evaluation, Terrence’s physician noticed evidence of hardware malfunction from his previous procedure. His condition required another surgery. He underwent his second major thoracic spinal surgery at the University of Cincinnati. After the operation, his medical team informed him that he would need intensive rehabilitation before returning home.
Terrence chose to be transferred to Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital. When he first arrived, he required full assistance to get out of bed and to perform daily living activities. He explained, “I had to learn to walk again. It’s amazing how quickly our bodies become weak and imbalanced.” He focused on his recovery and saw enough progress to be discharged home.
At discharge, Terrence was independent with all mobility, was able to walk with a walker, and could even go up and down steps. After his first surgery, he explained that it took him 26 weeks to climb stairs. This time, even after a more complex surgery, he was able to climb stairs in 26 days! He attributes his successful recovery to the rehabilitation he received at Gateway.
Terrence continues his recovery with home health physical therapy and has hit even more milestones. He is happy to report that he had an appointment with his surgeon and was able to drive both ways and even stopped for lunch!
“It’s nice to have my hobby of driving back. I’ve always loved driving. Another hobby of mine is playing the piano. I know that doesn’t sound very physical but it is. You have to have good balance and posture to play at the level I was previously capable of. My goal is to start back in the very near future.”