Joeann B.

Joeann B.

Completing her morning chores, Joeann Brown realized she needed to feed her outdoor cats. She gathered their food and headed for the back door. Hands full, Joeann attempted to push open the door with her foot. But her shoe got caught in the door, causing her to fall on the hard floor of her sunroom.

The sudden and traumatic fall was so loud it woke her grandson, who was sleeping on the couch. He rushed over and decided to call Joeann's granddaughter, who is a nurse. Under her guidance, they determined the best course of action was to call 9-1-1 and get an ambulance to take Joeann to the hospital. Joeann recalls intense pain while lying on the floor. Transferring onto the stretcher board when the ambulance arrived was "excruciating."

At the hospital, Joeann was diagnosed with a right subtrochanteric femur fracture. The injury required an intramedullary nailing. This means that doctors needed to put a metal rod through the center of the bone to keep it stable. Upon completion of the surgery, Joeann would need intensive rehabilitation. She requested Southern Indiana Rehabilitation Hospital (SIRH) for her recovery.

Having been a patient at SIRH after undergoing knee replacement surgery, Joeann felt comfortable there. She knew they would provide excellent care again, as they had after her knee replacement.

Unable to move, stand up, or walk without the help of two therapists, Joeann knew she had a long road ahead of her. Doctors put her on a "Toe-Touch Weight Bearing" restriction. This meant she could barely utilize her tip-toe for balance when moving from bed to wheelchair or toilet. In her 85 years, Joeann had never required this much assistance.

"To go from completely independent to relying on people to help with every movement" was very humbling, according to Joeann.

In less than two weeks at SIRH, Joeann made great progress. She no longer required maximum assistance from two people, but only minimal assistance from one. Joeann's therapists taught her methods to make daily tasks easier, and exercises to get stronger. "These kids are really good at what they do," she said of her therapists, in the kind of loving way a grandmother does. "I learned that I just needed to listen to them and work hard and I would get better."

"My goal was to get back home, where it is peaceful for me. Everyone has been excellent to me, and I want to thank them for their time, patience, and kindness."