Success Story: Mary B.

Mary B. is a sweet and wonderful, 77-year-old lady from Union County, Tennessee who came to us in July of 2019. She was married 33 years and has 3 children and 6 grandchildren. She worked as a CNA for two years and had to quit and take care of her mother-in-law and father-in-law who fell ill. Her hobbies before being hospitalized were gardening and sewing. She stated she enjoyed making dresses for her children and grandchildren.

Mary states that about 11 months ago she started having trouble walking/standing and developed shortness of breath. She went to the hospital and was diagnosed with pneumonia. While at the hospital she went into respiratory distress and was intubated at Fort Sanders on 05/23/19.

After further testing, she was diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome/acute inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. She ultimately required a tracheostomy on 5/26/19. Mary was then transferred to Select Specialty Hospital and then transferred to Summit View of Farragut on 07/16/2019.

When Mary came to us, she could not move her extremities or her head, she could not breathe on her own, and she could not speak. Our weaning efforts started off well, but unfortunately she started having episodes of vomiting and was ultimately sent back out to the hospital. She was sent out a couple of other times as well, and her code status was changed to DNR comfort.

After returning from her last hospital visit, our respiratory therapist team worked aggressively, weaning her daily from the ventilator and using the speaking valve in line with the vent. Our dedicated respiratory therapist team was able to wean her from the ventilator and they successfully removed her trach on March 30, 2020.

For more information on our Respiratory Therapy program, please contact our Case Management team by emailing

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