From Volunteer to Client: Clare’s Inspiring Journey to Independence with Independence Health & Therapy

by | Mar 1, 2024 | News, Newsletter

For 56 years, Clare served as a dedicated nurse at a local hospital system, and periodically volunteered for Independence Health &Therapy. However, a few years ago, life threw her a curveball when a personal injury left her paralyzed from the waist down. When she left the hospital, she couldn’t even wiggle her toes. Her husband had to move her with the help of a device called a sit-to-stand lift. She needed assistance with everything from bathing to using the bathroom. Clare had gone from being a caregiver to needing care herself.

Clare faced roadblocks in her recovery journey, dealing with organizations unwilling to help due to her wheelchair-bound status or reluctance to work with Medicaid clients. In March 2022, Clare found a supportive ally in IHT.

IHT’s physical therapists set thoughtful and challenging goals for Clare, supporting her while respecting her limits. Clare emphasizes the positive atmosphere at IHT, saying, “The staff are wonderful people. They listen, they are kind and compassionate, and they’re very encouraging.”

Her family is so pleased with how far she has come. “This facility has helped me to become more independent,” she says. She can now shower, transfer to bed, use the bathroom, and cook independently again. Clare donated her sit-to-stand lift back to IHT, where it has found a new purpose in helping a pediatric client.

Now Clare can walk over 100 feet in six minutes using two canes. Her goals now include leaving her wheelchair behind and walking with just one cane. She wants to debunk misconceptions about organizations accepting public aid, assuring others that IHT is clean, equipped with quality gear, and boasts a top-notch staff.

Beyond therapy, Clare values the friendships she has formed with IHT staff. She shared a story about PTA Shannon volunteering on her day off to help Clare navigate two steps at an offsite function.

Clare has become a passionate advocate for IHT, sharing her story in the community. Her journey showcases IHT’s commitment to promoting independence and well-being, proving that with the right support, transformative recoveries are possible.

This article was republished from our Winter 2023/2024 Newsletter. Click here to read our full Winter Newsletter!

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