Nancy B admitted to PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Tulsa after having lived in a nursing facility, hours away from her home, for over a year.
Mrs. B had an artificial airway in place and was unable to feed herself and unable to eat orally due to increased aspiration risks. Mrs. B, with Mr. B cheering her on, worked tirelessly during speech therapy sessions completing pharyngeal and oral mechanism strengthening exercises.
Each day, Mrs. B would complete homework that was imperative for improving her swallowing abilities and she would complete them without question. With hard work, sweat and tears (tears of joy, that is, from each of us), Mrs. B went from not eating by mouth to safely tolerating a puree diet with nectar liquids. While on puree, several trials of mechanical soft foods were attempted, but Mrs. B was "just not ready" as she was still adjusting to various textures after not eating anything by mouth for over a year. Mrs. B left our facility tolerating mechanically soft foods with puree meats with nectar liquids, with use of compensatory strategies, without difficulty. With the oversight of her physician and dedicated respiratory therapist at PAM, Mrs. B’s artificial airway was also removed.
While at PAM Rehabilitation Hospital of Tulsa, Mrs. B made tremendous functional gains that allowed her to transition closer to her home. Mrs. B is now tolerating regular diet with thin liquids and able to feed herself!
"We are extremely grateful to PAM Rehabilitation Hospital for several reasons; the removal of Nancy's tracheostomy tube and healing, the much improved strength in her body and a time of excitement when she was able to begin her change in diet with eating "real food" for the first time in over one year. We will always remember the therapy and medical staff for the affection and excellent care you extended to us during our stay." - Mrs. Nancy B.