Worth the Drive From Frankenmuth

For Robert and Jill Loftus of Frankenmuth, the drive to HealthSource Saginaw in Saginaw Township for outpatient therapy is well worth the gas and wear and tear on their vehicle. Robert had a very successful stay here in acute inpatient rehabilitation after his second stroke. Outpatient therapy has helped him gain back even more use of his right side.

“We’re driving a looong way,” admits Jill, director of patient care at St. Mary’s of Michigan. “It’s because they know Bob. The therapists are kind, considerate, and really know their mojo. They evaluate, re-evaluate, and never accept the status quo. He just gets better and better with the goals they set for him. It’s more than a facility…it’s a comprehensive program. They REALLY know their rehab.”

Robert and Jill met years ago at SVSU, where he was playing football on an athletic scholarship and she was attending nursing school. Having been athletic all his life, Bob was concerned last December when his right hand felt like it was falling asleep. His right foot didn’t feel right on the gas pedal of his car either. Knowing now he should have called 9-1-1 immediately, he instead drove himself to the hospital emergency department where he had to be helped out of the car. A quick CT scan revealed that Robert had suffered a stroke. He was treated immediately with clot busting drugs that relieved his symptoms right away.

“I was feeling pretty good by Christmas time,” he remembers. “Good enough that Jill went to Florida with our daughter over New Years.”

But just a few days after Jill returned home, Robert woke up in the night with that same sensation in his hand signaling another stroke. The clot busting drug didn’t produce the same results this time, leaving Robert with some significant weakness in his right side. Diagnostics also revealed a heart defect that had gone undetected up until then.

After a five-day stay at St. Mary’s of Michigan, Robert came to HealthSource for two weeks of acute inpatient rehabilitation. A brief furlo to Henry Ford Hospital allowed physicians to repair his heart. “I really appreciate the people at HealthSource so much,” Jill says. “Everybody worked together so seamlessly to get Bob the care he needed.”

She describes the inpatient rehabilitation atmosphere as “beautiful.”

“Plasma TVs, private bathrooms, bright and cheery rooms, everything is clean — it’s beautiful,” she says. “Nurses and therapists are kind and very attentive to detail. They REALLY know their rehab. They like to see success. That really energizes patients.”

Jill has always known about HealthSource because of her role in patient care at St. Mary’s. “I wouldn’t have let Bob go there if I didn’t think it was great…but I didn’t fully appreciate what a diamond it is until I experienced it personally as a family member,” she says. “HealthSource is more than a facility, it’s a comprehensive program, individualized for each patient.”

Prior to going home, Robert and Jill stayed in the “Home Room,” an apartment-style room in the Beach Neighborhood that allows patients and family members to “practice” the activities of daily living before actually going home.

“How cool is it that you can stay in the apartment to make sure you can function safely when you get home?” Jill asks. “That was a really great incentive for us. Bob worked hard to get to the point where he could stay in the Home Room.”

Now home, Robert continues his rehabilitation as an outpatient, making the drive from Frankenmuth each time. “I really look forward to coming to HealthSource,” he says. “I have made so much progress. I’ve gone from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane,” he explains. “Initially, I couldn’t write. I own my own business and I couldn’t even sign checks. Now I can. I appreciate these people so much!”

Progress is something Robert witnesses regularly in the therapy gym. “The team of therapists at HealthSource is so good at instilling patients with the belief that they CAN improve. I’ve watched so many people get better at HealthSource.”