Posted on December 7, 2022

R.J.’s Sub-Acute Recovery: Getting by with a Little Help from Friends, Faith & Family

In June, Robert R.J. Myler was going about his normal workday driving a recycling truck for Arrowaste. The summer heat caused him to lose consciousness at the wheel. Then he crashed into a semi-truck.

R.J. suffered severe injuries. Thanks to the help of two good Samaritans – a nurse and a retired marine – he made it to the hospital.

The next thing R.J. knew, he was lying in a hospital bed. He was unable to move any of his limbs.

Back together again

“I’ve never seen a patient with this extensive of injuries,” said Jenna Livingston, physical therapist at Mary Free Bed.

When R.J. arrived at Corewell Health Butterworth Hospital, he was put into a medically induced coma and underwent multiple surgeries to put his body back together. As a result of his injuries, R.J.’s left leg was amputated above the knee. He transferred to Mary Free Bed and immediately got to work on a strong recovery in Mary Free Bed’s Sub-Acute Rehabilitation program.

Mary Free Bed Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Program

Recovery at Mary Free Bed

Located on the hospital’s fifth floor, the Sub-Acute Rehabilitation program is dedicated to working alongside patients to get them back to full functioning after an injury or illness. Thanks to a joint venture with Trinity Health Senior Communities, the program’s multidisciplinary team designs a less intense, short-term program of inpatient rehabilitation.

“For patients like R.J., the level and type of treatment is unique to the individual. We provide therapy based on a patient’s current capabilities and goals they need to achieve in order to return home,” Livingston said.

Mary Free Bed Sub-Acute Rehabilitation

Working on independence was the main objective of R.J.’s therapy sessions. R.J. had non-weightbearing restrictions when he first started his therapy. He went from being physically dependent and bed bound to utilizing a manual wheelchair to standing and hopping using a standard walker.

Other therapy sessions included pressure relief, sitting balance, wheelchair propulsions and management, training on sit to stand movements, and strengthening and stretching his left leg.

Faith and Family

R.J. credits his faith for keeping him alive and his family for staying by his side.

“I lost my dad to a work accident eight years ago, so my perspective on living through something like this has completely transformed my faith and made it so much stronger,” said R.J.

R.J.’s main motivation was his wife, Kendra, and their two little girls who spent much of their time supporting R. J. on his path to recovery.

Mary Free Bed Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Program

“Being able to come and see him at Mary Free Bed has been amazing. That helped the girls to be able to see their dad almost every day and know that he’s here and that he’s going to come home,” Kendra said.

And home he went. On October 22, R.J. was finally able to enjoy life at home for the first time in four months thanks to his family, faith and hard work with the Sub-Acute Rehabilitation team at Mary Free Bed.

In the news

R.J. and his wife recently shared their story with WOOD TV8. Watch the story here.

About the Mary Free Bed Sub-Acute Rehabilitation Program

Our program has been awarded a five-star quality rating (the highest awarded) from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, based on health inspections, staffing and quality outcomes. If quality is important to you, consider Mary Free Bed when you choose where you want to receive rehabilitation.

Conditions treated include:

  • Amputation
  • Cancer
  • General weakness or deconditioning after illness or surgery
  • Heart attack and cardiac surgery
  • Multiple injuries
  • Orthopedic surgery
  • Stroke

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