NHS Rehab Helps Army Vet Walk Again

NHS Rehab Helps Army Vet Walk Again

Army Veteran, Dan Lewis, hurt his knee in Vietnam. Since that time he has undergone three knee replacement surgeries and has been to four different hospitals. It wasn’t until he entered the Inpatient Rehabilitation Center at Northeastern Health System, that he was able to get out of the bed and learn to walk again.

“Out of my three knee replacements,” said Lewis, “this is the first to be successful. I can walk now, thanks to this inpatient facility.”

Lewis had maintained an active lifestyle working for the post office, serving as undersheriff, working for the FBI for close to 10 years and serving his country in the Army. When he entered the NHS Inpatient Rehab Center he had not walked in many months.

“I was feeling sorry for myself and got really down,” Lewis said. “When I met the staff they made me believe in myself again. It reminded me of the bond I had with my brothers in the service. The staff truly become like family.”

Lewis’ therapists were hard on him and pushed him daily to progress.

“I pushed Dan hard because I knew he could do it, and he did,” said Physical Therapist Mark Rogers.

Sharon Cox, director of the Inpatient Rehab Unit, and one of Lewis’ physical therapists knew Dan had struggled in the past and was determined to help him regain mobility.

“I showed him tough love, gave him the motivation he needed, even when he didn’t want it, because I knew his end result could be amazing, and it is,” said Cox. “He was able to walk out of our facility with the assistance of a walker.”

Inpatient Rehab is a 24 hour program designed to prepare the patient for returning home after an injury or illness. On the unit, patients re-learn how to function by a staff of nurses, therapists and physicians. In fact, the medical team spends so much time with the patient they quickly feel like family.

“I enjoyed my time working with Dan,” said Rogers. “Seeing him walk for the first time when I knew he hadn’t in over six months; it was inspiring. It was rough to say goodbye to him. We have bonded over so many things, including our time in the Army and stories about that time.”

The goodbye was bittersweet for Lewis as well.

“On the day I left, I had been fighting tears all day because the staff truly became my second family, and it was going to be hard to not see them every day,” said Lewis.

Lewis continually urges the community to visit the NHS Inpatient Rehab Unit.

“People need to see this place for themselves,” said Lewis. “I am extremely proud of this hospital and every single employee in the building. I’ve been so impressed with everyone: registration, housekeeping, the nursing staff, the medical staff, and so on.”

The administration, providers and staff at Northeastern Health System strive to provide convenient and affordable access to a full range of services, including many primary and specialty care services, and consider it a privilege to serve the community.

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