Left to right: Jamie Wallis, director of rehab; Schonna Davis, occupational therapist; Ed Ellett; Cayce Weekley, physical therapist; and Julie Scott, physical therapist assistant

In January 2017, Ed Ellett came to Life Care Center of Red Bank in Chattanooga, Tennessee, for rehabilitation after developing an infection in his spine.


“On admission, I had an inadequate ability to swallow, could not turn over or sit up and only had minimal movement in my legs,” Ellett remembered. “I also had a lot of health issues to overcome.”


Ellett took part in physical, occupational and speech therapies.


In physical therapy, six days a week, Ellett worked on his mobility and balance. Physical therapists used several state-of-the-art tools, including electrical stimulation, the Biodex Balance System SD, LiteGait® for weight-supported walking training, the ArjoHuntleigh platform walker for balance and gait training and the Neurogym® trainer to monitor and train in movement.


In occupational therapy, five days a week, Ellett focused on regaining daily abilities like getting dressed, bathing and grooming. Occupational therapists taught him how to use adaptive equipment, such as a reacher, shoe horn and sock aide, to be able to do more on his own.


In speech therapy, also five days a week, Ellett used VitalStim® electrical stimulation, as well as laryngeal, pharyngeal and Shaker exercises to improve his swallowing. He was able to swallow normally in a little over a month, eating and drinking regular foods and liquids again.


By the time Ellett returned home on May 2, he could feed himself, manage his medications, get in and out of bed and use a wheelchair independently. He required supervision for his grooming and bathing and minimal assistance for walking, getting dressed and balancing while standing.


Ellett returned as an outpatient on Aug. 24.


“Thanks to all the staff at Life Care Center of Red Bank, I am now in outpatient therapy and continuing my recovery,” Ellett said. “My advice to future patients: Work hard with the therapists, who are dedicated and trained to help you achieve your highest level of function.”