Dwight Carlson surrounded by his loving family

Seventy-year-old Dwight Carlson feels he’s experienced “a lot of miracles” when it comes to his health. Dwight led an active lifestyle – skiing, hiking, working out and more – until sepsis, caused by a small tear in his esophagus, nearly killed him five years ago. His family was told that he had a one percent chance to live as he lay in a medically-induced coma with six of his organs failing.

But, it wasn’t his time.

After ten days in the coma, Dwight opened his eyes and saw his wife who told him that everything was going to be okay. “We may have a new life, but we will get through this together,” she told him. Dwight says those words made a bigger impact on him than anything else could have.

Dwight transferred to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital (NCLTAH) for continued critical care. Four weeks later, he returned to a local acute hospital for another surgery, before returning back to the long-term acute care hospital.

When he arrived back at NCLTAH, Dwight expressed his relief. “It was so peaceful,” he said. “It was like I was home. I loved the nurses and they loved me. They were so attentive and ‘Johnny-on-the-spot’ for all my needs. I have a whole new appreciation for nurses and all they did for me. They literally carried me.”

The staff at NCLTAH lined up to applaud Dwight Carlson on his discharge day.

Dwight says the hospital’s medical director checked on him every morning, as well. “He was my encourager. My cheerleader,” he said. “He knew me.”

After much time, care, work, and determination – not to mention a positive attitude – Dwight claimed the one percent chance he had to survive. Nowadays, he can be found skiing, hiking, working out or working in his garden, among other things.

Dwight attributes a large part of his healing success to the care he received at Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. “My wife and I both feel very blessed that I was able to receive care in a place like this that was so close to home,” he said. “I had a really positive experience and was very fortunate to have received care there.”