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  • Jeanne: Former Vent Patient Helping Others

    Jeanne Photo


    Jeanne, 65, thought nothing of it when she caught a cold that had been circulating around her family. But while everyone else got better, Jeanne’s cold got worse. As her health declined, her family encouraged her to go to the doctor, however Jeanne did not feel it was necessary for a simple cold. Her son finally convinced her to see someone, but on her way to the clinic, Jeanne lost consciousness. She has no memory of the two weeks that followed.

    While hospitalized, she remained unconscious. Her family was told that until she was awake, she would not get better. Finally, Jeanne’s family agreed to have her intubated and placed on a ventilator. Once she was stabilized, they recommended she go to Kindred for further treatment and recovery. She was admitted to Kindred with chronic respiratory failure.

    Jeanne doesn’t recall her first couple of days at Kindred. Once she was more conscious, however, her mind was filled with questions as she did not understand what was going on. As a very hands-on person with a background in healthcare, Jeanne was frustrated that all of the information and instructions were being directed to her family. However, due to the trach, she was unable to speak and her writing was illegible.

    The turning point for Jeanne was her first visit with the speech therapist. She had her blow through the tube and a sound came out. It was just the ray of hope Jeanne needed. The therapist said she would come back the next day, but she initially missed her as Jeanne had fallen asleep. When she returned later in the day, the therapist explained that she hadn’t wanted to wake her. When she covered her tube, Jeanne’s first words were, “Always wake me up. That’s what I’m here for – to work and get better.”

    After that, Jeanne got to work towards her recovery. She was weaned from the ventilator, decannulated, and made great strides with rehabilitation. About a month after her admission to Kindred, Jeanne went home to continue healing where she felt most comfortable. Jeanne is almost back to her old self now and has volunteered to help with the ventilator support group.

    “As a whole, that group gels together better than any I’ve seen,” said Jeanne of the staff at Kindred. “They really are a team. If a family can get across to the patient to work, this is the team to help them do it. On a scale of 100, they are a 98.”

    This is an example of a patient success story from Kindred Chicago Lakeshore. At Kindred Hospitals, dedicated healthcare professionals are creating positive patient outcomes every day. Kindred operates seven transitional care hospitals in Illinois. For more information about Kindred Hospitals, click here .


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