Written by: Kayla Markell, Community Liaison Director at Keosauqua Health Care Center
Imagine writing a grant for your facility’s therapy department and, later, that same therapy department helps you achieve your goals. Scott Watson, 50, of Douds, Iowa never thought that something he was doing in his career as Resource Development Coordinator would have such an impact on his life. For Scott, it was much more than the therapy department giving back to him. At the age of 49, he never expected to be in such a helpless state. Scott states that at the time of admission to Keosauqua Health Care Center, “I knew I needed therapy and nursing help to regain my independence, but I didn’t want to acknowledge the fact that I could no longer do it by myself”.
Scott was losing his strength and was losing weight and he knew something was wrong. Initially, he visited the emergency room in Fairfield and was later transferred to the University of Iowa. After several tests and finally an extensive eye examination, Scott was diagnosed with vasculitis – a disease that causes expansion of vessels that causes changes in the blood vessel walls, affecting both veins and arteries. This disease results in fatigue and weakness, and the effects can be lifelong. Scott reported to us that in June he weighed around 173 pounds, and when he came to us he weighed about 130 pounds. After extensive therapy, he now weighs 155 pounds. Scott has built up his resistance on the NuStep to about 5 times what it was when he entered Keosauqua Health Care Center. When he arrived, Scott was bedbound. Today he is taking life one step at a time as he is successfully walking the hallways of our building with the aides and the therapists.
Scott reports, “It’s been a slow process but when you take a step back and view the improvements and the progress that I have made, it is incredible.” Scott continually set little goals along the way and that is how he has achieved his bigger goals which will result in his return home. Scott stated, “The staff has been so great. They are a huge encouragement, and they make you humble and eventually you forget that you are even fighting a battle. Some days it seems easy to give up, but the staff here are dedicated to never let you fail. It feels like family here; they can’t replace my family, but they make things better. I am completely thankful for my wife, Cathy. She has been so supportive the entire time, she has driven here day after day, and she has eaten meals with me, taken me to appointments, and just supported me every step of the way. Another thank you to my daughter Bree, for following up with therapy and always advocating for me; and the rest of my family and friends for always checking in, sending cards, and visiting me. It makes a world of difference, because you know you have a support team and people are not going to let you give up on your goals.”
As I, am writing this article, I cannot imagine being in Scott’s shoes. The development of our therapy department so long ago has allowed our facility to help many people. Not so long ago, Scott was in my shoes working as the Marketer for what used to be Good Samaritan Society. Scott wrote grants and raised funds for not only the therapy department, but for events and to help the community. Some of the funds raised even helped the residents go on outings. While working for Good Samaritan Society, Scott helped gain the funds to be able to provide the facility with the wheelchair washer, the ‘It’s Never 2 Late’ system, and the therapy department. Scott says, “Today the therapy room has more equipment, but I never thought I would be in there using the equipment myself. Some days here are long but with the support of my family, my friends, and the staff here it makes everything pass right along. It’s hard to thank just one person here at Keosauqua Health Care Center, because every single person that works here is completely dedicated to the residents”, says Scott.
We want to thank Scott Watson for giving us the consent to share his story with all of you, and we hope that you have enjoyed it. A huge thank you to all of the staff at Keosauqua Health Care Center, where “Residents First, Employees Always” is a way of life.