Jacqueline H.

Jacqueline H.

Jacqueline Hillard, 70, loves her two granddaughters so much that she moved back to Indiana from sunny Florida to be with them. Jacqueline and her husband, Jim, retired from The Campbell Soup Company in Ohio, where they met. They moved to Florida after retirement. A new career of crafting and taking care of their two beautiful granddaughters (ages 4 & 5) captured their hearts and became their new norm.

In November, Jacqueline underwent an amputation of her left foot. She had hopes of a speedy recovery and returning to her ‘normal life’ shortly after. But, in January, she went to the emergency department with complaints of severe weakness and dizziness. Doctors found Jacqueline to have significant blood loss, yet the source of bleeding was not clear. Her health was deteriorating before her eyes with no known cause. She developed respiratory failure and then her heart stopped. She ended up on a ventilator, unable to breathe on her own.

Jacqueline transferred to Vibra Hospital of Northwestern Indiana in February. Still on the ventilator, she was unable to move from her bed to participate in therapy. Continued attempts to wean Jacqueline from the ventilator were unsuccessful. Jim had to begin making critical decisions regarding the continuation of care for his wife. In an interview before discharge, Jacqueline said, “I thought I was done.”

“I thought I was losing her,” Jim said in agreement.

Jim was by Jacqueline's side every step of the way. He knew more than anything she would want to see her granddaughters. When Jim learned there was a chance that Jacqueline would not be able to go home, he made certain their granddaughters came to visit her at Vibra that weekend.

That's when things began to change for Jacqueline.

Motivated by her desire to be with her granddaughters and Jim's relentless encouragement, Jacquline began to heal. With the skilled clinicians by her side, Jacqueline progressed in weaning off the ventilator. Soon, she was liberated from the ventilator and could breathe on her own again.

Jacqueline's success impressed everyone, including Angie Johnson, Director of Rehab Services at Vibra. “Jacqueline made gains in just three weeks of therapy,” Angie noted. Before discharge, Jacqueline could eat and share her journey "Back to Better" with the staff. Jacqueline discharged to a skilled nursing facility where she continues to rehabilitate.