Eight years ago, Andrew Pacheco sustained a spinal cord injury (T10-T12), resulting in paraplegia. Though now in a wheelchair, the 60-year-old from Pueblo continues to live an active life. Andrew works as a maintenance tech and enjoys fishing, car shows, and spending time with his brothers, son, and daughter.
Then, one day, Andrew fell out of his motorized wheelchair. He suffered fractures to his femur and his left tibia and fibula in the fall. In need of extended hospitalization, Andrew’s daughter began researching their options. She chose Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital for several reasons. First, the hospital was clean. Second, the large 6,000 sq. ft. therapy gym would benefit her father’s recovery. And the outcomes data was great, allowing her to feel confident in the care her Andrew would receive.
Family has always been important to Joey Gonzalez. As a person with down syndrome, Joey’s family has always been there to support him. They live in Alliance, Nebraska, and Joey loves to spend time with his dad and four brothers. His mother passed away a year ago, and for many years prior, Joey helped care for her. Special Olympic sports are Joey’s passion in life. His favorites are bowling, basketball, and track.
When Joey began having difficulty breathing one winter day, his father, Tony, took him to the emergency room for evaluation. Joey was diagnosed with COVID-19 pneumonia. In the hospital, Joey required a ventilator and had a tracheostomy placed. His physicians prepared Tony for the worst.
“The doctors told me he wouldn’t make it,” Tony said with tears in his eyes.
But Joey had other plans. Despite the grim outlook communicated to his father, Joey pulled through.
“He’s a miracle,” Tony tells people.
With Joey stabilized, Tony and his family began preparing for Joey’s recovery. First, they met with Joey’s case manager at the acute care hospital and reviewed their options. After doing their due diligence, the family chose Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital for Joey. They felt confident in the quality of care offered at NCLTAH, and the location was perfect for Joey’s eventual return home.
As Joey’s stay at NCLTAH neared its conclusion, the family’s experience validated their decision. “The nurses and doctors were so generous and nice!” Tony reflected. “Dr. Pearson was a great advocate for Joey and made sure I could be a huge part of his care. The therapists were very good at their job, always encouraging Joey. And I loved the education I was given so I can take care of Joey at home!”
“Overall, this place is the best!” Tony added.
Joey couldn’t have been more excited as he prepared to return home. Looking forward to resuming a regular routine, Joey has one main goal: returning to the Special Olympic sports that he loves so much.
Jesse Martinez is 57 years old and lived in Denver, Colorado, working full-time for the city. He spends all the time he can with his family. He and his wife, Dawn, have three daughters and two grandchildren. Jesse taps into his creative side through music and used to work as a DJ. He also loves making art and enjoys watching football. He’s a huge Raiders fan.
On a day like any other, Jesse started experiencing a horrible headache. He went to an acute care hospital where they told Jesse he was suffering from a subdural hematoma and acute respiratory failure. His family chose to continue his recovery at Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital.
Jesse was appreciative of the support he received from the staff. “Everybody was so positive and helpful! The housekeeping staff always made me feel at home. The doctors and nurses were so positive.”
Although he improved, Jesse wasn’t quite ready to return home. He transferred to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital to begin rehab. He was just as impressed with the NCRH staff as he was with NCLTAH. “Every staff member was so friendly and nice! I didn’t have one bad experience, and everyone always made me feel comfortable. When I went home, I really missed everyone. They were just like my family.”
Jesse discharged home in July and moved to Loveland, Colorado with his family. He is now retired, enjoying his peaceful life with his family. He’s happy to be around music again and is fixing up an old Chevy 1964.
“If it wasn’t for getting my care at these two facilities, I don’t know where I would be,” Jesse stated.
Bob Vines and his wife, Mary, have been married for 29 years and have two children. They recently moved to Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Bob works full-time as a prevention specialist. He enjoys photography, traveling, and listening to music.
After receiving his COVID-19 vaccine, Bob still contracted the virus. He also suffered from pneumonia and acute respiratory failure. Mary chose Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital for his extended care. Their insurance recommended NCLTAH, and after looking at the COVID-19 patient success stories, she knew it was a good fit.
Bob required a ventilator for 23 days but progressed rapidly when he arrived at NCLTAH. Thankfully his progression allowed him to wean off the ventilator in just a few days! Because of his quick turnaround, Bob transferred to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital to continue his recovery.
“I loved how every step of the way, they set reachable goals. The staff was very supportive in helping me reach my goals. I loved Dr. Pearson. He became such a good friend during my recovery and his medical advice was fantastic,” Bob said.
Bob loved his care team and appreciated the wonderful job they did to support him throughout his stay. Knowing how much time the staff spends on their feet, Bob wanted to buy comfortable shoes for all of them. Schnee’s Footwear and Dansko donated each pair for this wonderful cause.
“The kitchen staff was awesome and engaging. The PCT’s and nurses took the time to comfort me during this hard time. I am so grateful for their empathy,” Bob explained. He is back home now and loves sitting on his front porch relaxing. He has also spent more time with his family. “I am so blessed to be alive and couldn’t do it without these amazing hospitals!”
Richard Lewis loves spending time outdoors doing activities like hunting, fishing, and hiking. He works full-time as a maintenance supervisor for a condominium complex. Married 41 years, Richard and his wife love to spend time with their two daughters and four grandchildren.
On Richard’s 41st wedding anniversary, he planned to take his wife to the Mount Princeton Hot Springs Resort. Their plans changed when he got exposed to COVID-19 and later tested positive. His wife had to call an ambulance because he was having difficulty breathing.
Richard doesn’t remember much from his acute hospitalization. He does remember his physicians recommending Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital for their great ventilator weaning process. He had an acute hypoxic respiratory failure from COVID-19 and required a tracheostomy.
With a long road to recovery ahead of him, Richard arrived at NCLTAH. He worked hard with his care team to gain his strength back. Richard said, “All of my therapists have made therapy fun. They push me to be successful. The staff is so encouraging, and that has influenced my recovery!”
All the support and encouragement from his care team helped Richard to achieve his goals. “I love how the staff always tells me how well I am doing, it’s a real incentive for me to succeed and get home!” Richard is already seeing progress and is standing only needing some oxygen.
As Richard continues to work towards his recovery, he looks forward to returning home. He wants to focus on getting back to work and back to his hobbies like hunting and fishing. He said, “Every single staff member has been great. I can’t say enough about how great this experience has been. They are so great at what they do!”
Amber Leach, 44, lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. She works for the state as a data analyst and loves her job. She is very active and stays social in her community. Amber explained, “I am very blessed with a great family and friends!” She enjoys being outdoors camping, fishing, riding horses, and participating in shooting sports. She also volunteers for the Cheyenne Frontier Days. Both her brother and sister live in Cheyenne, and her parents live in Nebraska.
After attending a large wedding as a bridesmaid, Amber started feeling very tired. Later she developed a headache and fever. She contracted COVID-19 and suffered from acute respiratory failure. Her condition required a ventilator to support her breathing.
Amber chose Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital to assist with her ventilator weaning. It was key that the facility was close to her home. This way, she could have the support of her friends and family nearby. She also read the great reviews that NCLTAH received on their website.
During her stay, Amber was appreciative of the care and attention she received. She stated, “The staff is amazing and so encouraging! Nursing went out of their way to meet my needs, and everyone has such a positive attitude.” She then transitioned to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital due to loving the facility and it being just down the hall. She stated, “Everyone has the most positive attitudes!”
Amber looks forward to returning home to see her family, especially her new niece and nephews. She will continue working on her goals to get back to doing what she loves, being outdoors. She said, “I’m just continuing on this uphill road and thank these facilities for all the help!”
Ronald Mena and his wife have lived in Haxtun, Colorado for the past 14 years. Married for 33 years, they love to spend time together just enjoying life. In his free time, Ronald enjoys outdoor activities like fishing, camping, and scuba diving.
During a bad storm one night at home, Ronald started experiencing severe chest pains and had difficulty breathing. He immediately went to the hospital, where they told him he suffered a heart attack, acute on chronic hypoxic respiratory failure, and an acute kidney injury requiring dialysis. His condition required a ventilator.
Ronald’s physician at the hospital recommended Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. There he would receive therapy and could work on weaning off the ventilator. The staff at NCLTAH impressed Ronald right away with their patient-first attitude. “The doctors and nurses inspired me to get better! Everything NCLTAH did was wonderful. The entire experience was great!”
Throughout his stay, Ronald became close with his care team and leaned on them for support. “Dr. Pearson and I would pray together about my renal recovery and, sure enough, two weeks later I didn’t need dialysis anymore. It was a miracle!”
Because of his hard work and determination to recover, Ronald is now home after a little over two months of rehabilitation at NCLTAH. He is loving life and is slowly working back up to his normal routine. His future recovery goals include gaining more leg strength and eventually going back to work.
Ronda Cure lives in Sterling, Colorado with her husband and two sons. She enjoys spending time with family and taking care of their animals. They have four dogs, two cats, and two chickens. Before her hospitalization, she worked full-time and kept a very tidy house.
At the age of 49, Ronda suffered from acute hypoxemic respiratory failure, sepsis, atrial fibrillation, and aortic dissection with repair. Upon arriving at the hospital, she required full ventilator support. Knowing she would need a higher level of care, her family started searching for the next step in her recovery.
They chose Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital after a previous patient informed them of their great care. Being closer to home was an added benefit for the whole family. Ronda started her next phase of recovery at NCLTAH at the end of April.
Ronda stayed dedicated to her recovery and appreciated the continuous support that she received from the staff. She explained, “The PCTs and nurses were wonderful and so encouraging! Paul Eshom, RN, always believed in me and helped me to never give up! Dr. Pearson and Dr. Masotti were great and always informed me of my progression.”
After a long journey, Ronda built up the strength to wean off the ventilator. The process can be stressful especially when working back up to normal functionality. Her respiratory therapists made sure she was comfortable but moved at a pace that supported her recovery.
Ronda spent about two months at NCLTAH and saw great progress. She will only need oxygen for her return home. She looks forward to seeing her family and will continue her recovery with NCLTAH’s outpatient therapy department. Her goal is to achieve her prior level of function and believes that extended therapy will help. She states, “Thank you to all the wonderful staff. I would recommend this place to anyone!”
In 2014, Doug Cermack got into a car accident that left him wheelchair-bound. He spent time at Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital to recover. Since then, he has been doing physical therapy three times per week.
At 67-years-old, Doug lives in Lusk, Wyoming with his wife, Anna, their son, two cats, and one dog. He likes to take advantage of their vast acreage for target shooting. When it comes to family time, Doug enjoys getting out of the house to go out to dinner.
Life was going well for Doug’s continued recovery until he developed pressure ulcers. This led to a diagnosis of osteomyelitis requiring another hospitalization. Because of his positive experience with NCLTAH, he was quick to return. He explained, “I had great luck here prior, and I just really like this place. It feels like home.”
During his month-long stay at NCLTAH, Doug worked with a full team to achieve his recovery goals. “The doctors are great at spending time with me and talking to me. They really know what they are doing! The RNs and PCTs are really good, and the therapists keep me moving.” He also saw a wound care physician weekly to review wound care and management.
Doug looks forward to returning home with his family and can’t wait to see his animals. His main goal for the future is to stay healthy! He stated, “NCLTAH has been extremely helpful in my recovery and I wouldn’t choose any other facility.”
At 50-years-old, Janie Padilla described her life as perfect. While raising her three children in Evans, CO, she enjoyed crocheting and designing cups. She also enjoyed attending classic car shows with her husband of 18 years.
This all came to a halt after Janie underwent elective carpal tunnel surgery. Due to a severe reaction to the general anesthesia, she went into cardiac arrest. Janie then faced acute hypoxic respiratory failure requiring a ventilator, acute metabolic encephalopathy, and an anoxic brain injury.
Knowing Janie would require continued care, her physicians recommended Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. Unable to decide due to her condition, Janie’s family chose to have her transferred immediately. Now closer to home, she started on the road to recovery.
Janie spent over a month at NCLTAH. The staff impressed her with the care and support she received. “The nurses were great! They paid attention to my needs and I could tell they loved their jobs! The physicians were polite and checked on me a lot. All the staff was very attentive to my needs,” she explained.
After seeing some progress, Janie transferred to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital. There, Janie continues working on building up her strength and endurance so she can return home. Being a mom is everything to her so she can’t wait to be back with her family.