Charles “Tony” Walker, 77, spent years in corporate sales and marketing leadership roles for technical companies. After retiring, he stayed busy doing handyman work with a friend, reading, golfing, participating in community theatre, lunching with friends, and traveling (internationally and to all 50 states!) and spending time with Carol, his wife of over 54 years and “the most important person in my life.” Tony and Carol live in Cincinnati and have four grown children and nine grandchildren.
Initially hospitalized for treatment related to his bladder and urethra, Tony was then diagnosed with a twisted bowel, requiring surgery. Complications arose when he experienced post-surgery infections and significant weakness on his right side including difficulty walking, closing his hand and writing. Tony credits Carol with deciding on TriHealth Rehabilitation Hospital and adds, “I am absolutely, positively glad I went. I’ve never been anywhere that was SO patient focused.”
When admitted, Tony’s goal was to walk again. His physical therapy team focused on building strength and endurance using therapeutic exercises, a body weight support system, neuromuscular electrical stimulation and gait training. Therapy centered on the strength and skills he would need to walk, navigate steps and get in and out of a car.
His occupational therapy team worked with him on independence during his activities of daily living including taking a shower, going to the bathroom and getting in and out of bed. Tony credits both therapy teams with boosting his confidence sharing, “I can’t say enough about TriHealth Rehabilitation. They’re demanding, fair and they push you, but not beyond your limits. They laugh with you and cry with you, they’re wonderful.”
At discharge, Tony walked nearly 150 feet with a rolling walker and found humor in that, saying “My last name is Walker and I think it’s pretty funny that a Walker walks with a walker!” Tony’s sense of humor and positive outlook served him well during recovery, as did the unwavering support from his family and friends. He shared, “My wife was by my side every day and my children visited me once a week. Almost every night friends also came by to sit and talk. I wouldn’t be able to make it without my wife, my family and my friends.”
His advice for others on their recovery journey is: “Go straight to TriHealth Rehabilitation Hospital. Even staff who weren’t part of my team knew my name and stopped by to say hi and see how I was doing. It was a wonderful and positive experience.”
Tony looks forward to getting back to his “normal” life and spending time with his wife and friends. He plans to continue outpatient therapy to further gain strength and hopes to walk with just the support of a cane in the future.