Bill's story

Bill Gierhart smiling after rehabilitation.

Bill Gierhart, 66, was born in Fort Knox, KY and traveled with his family all over the world following his father, who was in the Army. The family eventually settled in Cincinnati, then Bill joined the Army himself for three years. After his time in military service, Bill started working for Kroger, where he met his wife, Jeanne. He actually proposed to her over the intercom at the store where they both worked, and they’ve been married for 42 years. Bill and Jeanne had four children, and they now have four grandchildren who live just one street away. The grandkids range in age from 4-13, and Bill and Jeanne enjoy having them over to swim in their pool and going to the Cincinnati Zoo and Kings Island.

Bill has had deteriorating disc disease for about 40 years and as a result, was experiencing debilitating pain. He tried steroid injections and other pain measures, but eventually decided on surgery. After his surgery, Bill required maximal assistance. He wasn’t able to walk or do any activities of daily living. He was discharged from the hospital and chose to continue his recovery at TriHealth Rehabilitation Hospital because it was highly recommended with great patient reviews. His goal for rehabilitation was to regain his independence.

In physical therapy, Bill started walking the hallways with a rolling walker and assistance from his therapist, transferring in and out of a car, going up and down a curb step and picking up objects. In occupational therapy, Bill focused on transferring in and out of bed, on and off the toilet, and in and out of the shower. He also learned how to use adaptive dressing equipment to aid in upper and lower body dressing tasks such as putting on and removing his shirt, pants, footwear and more. During physical therapy, Bill experienced a personal breakthrough when he was working with the therapist on walking in the parallel bars and was able to let go and walk six feet independently.

Jeanne visited almost every day and participated in family training. She learned how to help with transfers and was right behind Bill with the wheelchair, ready to assist if needed, when he walked
the length of the hallways for the first time in physical therapy.

In less than three weeks, Bill was ready to return home and looking forward seeing his kids and grandkids more often and sleeping in his own bed. Upon discharge he said, “I have nothing but good things to say about TriHealth Rehabilitation Hospital, my treatment was excellent —from the doctors to the therapists, nurses and support staff. My opinion of the therapy is just so fantastic. They work so hard to motivate you to get better.”

For others on a recovery journey, Bill shared this advice: “Come to the hospital with a positive, open mind, willingness to put in the work and confidence that you’re going to get better.”