Success Story: Ashley

Ashley came to us from Fort Sanders.

“I felt extremely tired for a few days and woke up in the worst pain ever, and then I became unable to breathe!”

Unlike anything she had felt before, she decided to go to the Emergency Room. After being admitted, she was found to be in septic shock with bilateral cavitary pneumonia with septic pulmonary emboli.

Blood cultures revealed MRSA and an endocardiogram showed tricuspid valve endocarditis from previous IV drug use. Ashley’s respiratory status started to decline, and she ultimately required intubation. A chest tube was placed on the right side then on the left side. Because she could not be weaned from the ventilator, a tracheostomy tube was placed. Ashley required yet another left-sided pigtail chest tube for a loculated hydropneumothorax.

After spending several days on life support, she was ultimately liberated from the ventilator and was discharged. Our respiratory team worked diligently to decannulate her. She received Physical and Occupational Therapy as well. She quickly regained her independence during all of her self-care tasks and was discharged from OT after one week!

Ashley continued with her Physical Therapy and by the time she discharged, she was able to achieve her goals during skilled intervention without reliance on assistive devices. She achieved this after only a few weeks! Ashley started weaning pretty quickly wearing her Passey Muir speaking valve the first day. She was successful with the PMV and she was capped and then decannulated.

She says everyone has been great at Summit View and that she likes it a, "whole lot better than being at the hospital because there is more one-on-one care".

“When I first came here it was really scary! I thought this is where old people go," she said. "But I soon realized how wonderful the facility was and amazed at how quickly I was able to get my trach out, talk, eat, and even walk to the bathroom by myself!”

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