Brian Center Fincastle resident completes rehabilitation program, returns home

Jerry Wright was admitted to the Brian Center of Fincastle on December 7, 2023, with acute respiratory failure secondary to aspiration requiring a breathing tube. Jerry was dependent on the ventilator and percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube for feeding. He only had the ability to mouth words at this time.

Prior to being hospitalized, Jerry previously required oxygen via nasal cannula at home. Upon evaluation, he required extensive assistance with all aspects of mobility and transfers with the inability to stand longer than 30 seconds and walk more than five feet. His personal goal was, “I want to return home to my wife and walk without an assistive device.”

Wright overcame many obstacles throughout his 100 days including decannulation, which is the removal of a tracheostomy tube, and the ability to return to a regular diet with no restrictions.

The most meaningful goal Wright achieved was the ability to speak again. When he heard his voice again for the first time, he said, “it is so nice to hear my own voice again; it’s the little things you take for granted.”

With aggressive physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapy, Jerry now only requires 1L of oxygen via nasal cannula and can perform all aspects of mobility, transfers, stairs, and toileting independently. He can ambulate independently without an assistive device indoors on level surfaces but requires a rollator for community distances.

“Don’t give up. Keep pushing no matter how hard,” Wright advises to anyone who is facing a similar situation or adversity.

Wright went home with his wife on March 15, 2024. His goals for the rest of 2024 include walking community distances without his rollator and driving again.

“A simple smile from the staff gave me hope and encouragement. You don’t know the difference it can make,” Wright said. “The passion and dedication the therapy staff showed me made this process easier.”