In the community of Neill Hall, resident Dorothy Mackeracher defied the expectations set by her medical prognosis. With the support or restorative care LPN, Morgan Lambert, Dorothy has the wind back in her step after two hip replacements.
A nursing home resident since 2020, it was one year into her arrival that she learned she needed her right hip replaced. Following her surgery, Dorothy and Morgan worked together on bed exercises to strengthen Dorothy’s legs and bring a full range of motion to her hips. But, the following year, Dorothy learned she’d needed a left hip replacement and after the surgery Dorothy was told by doctors that her walking again would be an “unrealistic goal.”
Not one to be limited by other’s expectations of her, Dorothy set her mind to walking again and began a six-month rehabilitation process.
“After this prognosis, I was angry, and I felt no one would listen to me,” Dorothy shared. “Morgan went through all the exercises with me. She listened to what I wanted and what I had to say. She played an important role in my recovery and gave me courage and hope I needed.”
Morgan was with Dorothy’s care from the beginning, from occupational therapy visits for Dorothy’s wheelchair seating, to physiotherapy visits for her hips and her shoulders, to and mobility assessments and pre- and post- surgery support.
“I applied my nursing skills and restorative care skills a lot throughout her recovery experience,” said Morgan. “My knowledge and help from our close-knit care team guided us greatly in knowing Dorothy’s limitations. Knowing when she had met the benchmarks to move on to a harder skill or exercise. Knowing when to push a little harder, but also knowing when to pause.”
Dorothy’s rehab progress started with daily bed exercises to achieve range of motion, such as sitting up in bed, and progressing to standing exercises that started to lead to small steps.
Now, after just six months, Dorothy’s mobility has greatly improved, and she uses a walking aide.
“Not only is she taking more than a few steps, but she is doing laps of the hallways and showing everyone that if your heart and mind is in it, you can do the unthinkable,” said Morgan.
Dorothy became a symbol of extraordinary resilience and perseverance for the other residents of Neill Hall, who, inspired by Dorothy, now dare to challenge their own perceived limitations.
“I saw another resident being walked at lunch and that made me so happy to see another person getting the help I received,” said Dorothy.