Ann's story

Ann Connelly medically complex patient success story
At 87 years of age, Ann Connolly wasn’t ready to slow down.  She was actively involved with the Norwood (Ohio) Senior Center, and particularly enjoyed walking laps at the Kenwood Towne Center mall and shopping trips to Kroger, the local grocery store.

While celebrating Thanksgiving with her family, Ann began having trouble breathing. She told her daughter, Sally, and together they agreed to wait until the next day to see if her symptoms resolved.

They didn’t, and Sally took Ann to Good Samaritan Hospital, where, she was diagnosed with heart failure. While the medical team at Good Samaritan Hospital adjusted her medications and continued to monitor her progress, the therapy team began working with Ann to help her regain her strength and mobility. After three days at Good Samaritan, they recommended Ann transfer to TriHealth Rehabilitation Hospital for the specialized treatment that would help her recover.

Ann arrived with the twin goals of improving her breathing and regaining her strength. Respiratory therapists evaluated her to identify the scope of her challenges and educated her on the use of devices to measure her respiratory function. Ann’s nurses constantly assessed her respiratory status and vital signs, and managed her medications.

To build muscle strength, Ann used a reclining stationary bike and performed other exercises. Her turning point came when she was able to move independently from her bed into a chair. From there, she began walking through the gym and the hallways, with her physical therapists monitoring her respiratory status every stop of the way. They even set up an obstacle course in the therapy gym that simulated common barriers Ann might encounter at home and in the community. This gave Ann her a chance to practice her mobility skills, improve balance and reduce her fall risk. 

Throughout her stay, Ann’s family visited often, providing encouragement and emotional support. They attended training sessions to help ensure Ann’s safe transition to home. And of course they were on hand to help Ann celebrate her 88th birthday with her TriHealth team, including her therapists LeAnna and Taylor, who brought her a cake and joined in singing “Happy Birthday.”

With great determination, Ann met all her goals in just seven days and was ready to go home. She could walk 300 feet without assistance, go up a flight of stairs and attend to all her personal care needs. Most of all, she was ready to get back to the many activities she enjoys.

“Work hard, follow the rules and have a smiling face” are the words of encouragement Ann offers to other patients considering TriHealth Rehabilitation Hospital. “Know that everyone here wants you to get better so you can get back to your life.”