A former patient, Mary Todd knew NCLTAH was the right place to recover from an exacerbation of her heart and lung conditions.

An emergency service dispatcher for 26 years, Mary Todd has been on disability since 2012. Mary suffers from severe pulmonary hypertension and chronic right-sided heart failure. Mary received those diagnoses 21 years ago, after diet pills prescribed by her physician destroyed her heart valve. Mary is passionate about traveling and spending time with her daughter, son, and husband. But a recent exacerbation of her illnesses made much of this difficult.

This exacerbation created many difficulties for Mary. She required an increase in oxygen needs and the use of a BiPap. Fluid built up in her lungs and extremities. As a result, Mary admitted to an acute care hospital in Cheyenne, WY, where she lives.

To recover, Mary chose to come to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. A wound care patient at NCLTAH in 2015, Mary knew she’d be well taken care of. Many of the “wonderful, knowledgeable staff” that Mary recalled from her 2015 stay still worked at NCLTAH.

That’s not to say Mary wanted to be hospitalized at all.

“Initially, I was very depressed going to the hospital because of my medical condition deteriorating,” Mary recalled. “But every team member at the LTACH helped me make up my mind that I was going to fight for my life!”

Support would be a major factor in Mary’s recovery. “The nurses, RT, and therapists gave me the strength to work twice as hard! My case manager was such an encouragement in my healing process, and really pushed me to work harder to get home.” Mary’s family visited weekly. Their noting of her progress each week reinforced her determination.

After three weeks at NCLTAH, Mary spent the next three weeks rehabilitating. Then, much to Mary’s delight, she discharged home. “It’s great to be home, and also to be using less oxygen,” Mary noted. “I am enjoying going outside and living my life again.”

But Mary’s still motivated to achieve even more. “My goals are to get strong enough to go back to work, and maybe do some day trips with my family.”