Eddie Hinojosa, a landscaper, was in a car accident in May 2016, which would forever change his life.
The accident caused a traumatic brain injury and a fractured spine. Hinojosa, only 33 years old, spent seven months in multiple rehab facilities and the hospital before coming to Desert Cove Nursing Center in Chandler, Arizona, on Dec. 20.
When Hinojosa arrived, he was not able to do much. He could not speak or swallow and was on a feeding tube. He needed total assistance to get around in a wheelchair, and he could walk only 100 feet with assistance. He also needed moderate assistance to get dressed and bathe.
The team of therapists – physical, occupational and speech – developed a care plan to help Hinojosa increase his level of independence. They worked with him five days a week from Dec. 21 – Feb. 14, and from April 25 – June 13. They used therapeutic exercises, balance training, activities of daily living training and swallowing and articulation therapy.
“I love my therapy,” Hinojosa said. “It helped me walk straight. Kelley [Delcamp, speech therapist,] helped me talk.”
“Eddie is a joy,” said Delcamp. “Even though we were all there to facilitate his recovery, his life spirit and level of effort made his recovery what it was.”
When Hinojosa graduated from therapy, he was off the feeding tube and able to swallow mechanical soft foods and nectar-thick liquids. He was able to speak in sentences again. His walking had increased to 500 feet with modified independence, and he was able to transfer from one surface to another and wheel himself in his wheelchair without assistance. He was able to bathe himself again with supervision instead of assistance.
Although he remains a resident at Desert Cove Nursing Center, Hinojosa’s new skills have enabled him to go on family outings and have a higher quality of life.