Getting the Care You Need to Go Home Again

Donna Hanna, Skilled Care patientDonna Hanna is not fond of ice. On Nov. 26, a nasty patch of ice caused her to take a tumble that broke her ankle. That fall was the start of a long stretch of health care designed to get her home again.

“I was at Pella Regional for 10 weeks and two days,” said Donna. “But now I can do anything. I mow; I walk. On the day I came home, I did two loads of laundry and made a batch of chili!”

After Donna fell, she was seen at the Pella Regional Health Center’s Emergency Department and transferred to Mercy where surgery was performed and a steel plate and 14 pins were placed in her ankle. The word the doctor used to describe her ankle was “shattered.”

Soon after surgery, she returned to the Medical/Surgical Unit at Pella Regional until she was ready to begin physical and occupational therapy to get her back on her feet again. At that point, Donna chose Skilled Care at Pella Regional to help her recover and prepare to return home.

“Pella Regional did great!” said Donna. “You have to go into a situation like this with the mindset that you’ll do whatever you have to do to get better. They did their job, and I did mine.”

Therapists worked with Donna daily. At first she was in a cast and had a walker. Then she graduated to a boot with a scooter, and finally she began walking on her own again.

“You get into a relationship with your therapists,” laughs Donna, “We had fun. I had some of the best CNAs and nurses. They were all such sweet gals.”

When it came time to head home, Kara Groenenboom was the occupational therapy assistant who came to Donna’s house for a home evaluation. There were stairs leading up to her porch and a key concern was ensuring that Donna could get safely in and out of her house.

“Kara told me that when I go home, I will walk up those steps,” said Donna. “The therapists really worked with me. And when I finally came home – yes, I walked up those steps!”