Jeff Mullen is a 42 year old gentleman who had a heart transplant in May of 2015. His recovery was going well until January of this year when he developed problems with rejection and cytomegalovirus. His condition worsened with increasing neurological deficits and paralysis resulting in his need for intubation and ventilator support. At this point, he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome. His hospital course was further complicated by an incidence in which he had an allergic reaction to sedation and went into respiratory arrest.
When Jeff arrived at Vibra Hospital of Fort Wayne after being hospitalized for almost five months, he could barely move any part of his body except for his head. He still needed ventilator support, and he was unable to eat or drink safely . He had been attempting trach mask trials with limited success. Most patients would be discouraged at this point, but surprisingly, Jeff maintained a positive outlook. His quick wit and likable personality usually had people laughing whenever they were in his room.
Jeff participated in some type of therapy almost every day and sat up in a chair even when he was not feeling well. Jeff progressed slowly at first due to infections he had to fight, but soon, little by little, small improvements became noticeable. He began to exhibit more strength in his muscles, and he started eating with speech therapy.
Over the last two weeks of his stay at Vibra, Jeff’s speed of recovery amplified. He was able to begin sitting unsupported. He began writing with an adapted pen. He weaned completely from the ventilator, and the day before his discharge, he was able to stand.
Jeff was able to reach his goal of being able to discharge to a rehabilitation hospital to continue on
his road to recovery. When Jeff and his wife agreed to allow Vibra to tell his success story, his wife, Steph, said, “You guys are the real success story!!!” Jeff stated, Vibra helped me to get a running start to continue my therapy at the rehabilitation hospital.”
The staff at Vibra wish Jeff and Steph well as they continue their journey. Jeff’s attitude and sense of humor will be missed, but we can’t wait to hear that he is back home working on his cars again.