Doug felt confident returning to NCLTAH after his first experience was so positive.

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.”

Janie’s road to recovery wasn’t easy after a severe reaction to general anesthesia during an elective surgery.

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.

After suffering respiratory failure due to COVID-19, Berniece came to NCLTAH for ventilator weaning.

Berniece Nadeau, 62, lives in Fort Morgan, Colorado with her husband and their two chihuahuas. She and her husband love spending time with their two children and four grandchildren. In her free time, she likes walking her dogs and camping in the beautiful mountains of Colorado. 

One day Berniece started experiencing symptoms including fever, chills, and respiratory issues. Her brother came over that day to visit and found her on the floor. He immediately called an ambulance and she was rushed to the hospital. There she was diagnosed with COVID-19, pneumonia, and acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.

Unable to make the decision herself, Berniece’s family stepped in and chose to transfer her to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. Two of her family members were previous patients and knew NCLTAH would take good care of her. Sadie, Berniece’s daughter stated, “We chose the facility due to the success rate and how great we know it is! I also love that it has all the levels of care we need to get her home.”

While working through her recovery at NCLTAH, Berniece stated, “I really enjoy the two physicians, Dr. Pearson and Dr. Masotti. They are very competent and knowledgeable.” With their support, she was able to progress enough to be transferred to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital.

Berniece started the inpatient therapy program with NCRH and was confident in the staff’s ability to get her back to better. “There are so many great PCT’s and nurses that were so encouraging and wonderful! The respiratory therapists were great and very knowledgeable. The staff kept me very motivated and were always so positive. The housekeeping staff and kitchen staff were amazing! They would always go out of their way to help me. I loved that they would all go the extra mile! Overall, it was a great experience!”

After nearly two months at NCLTAH and NCRH, Berniece discharged home, excited to return to her husband and her dogs. She will continue her recovery with outpatient therapy at NCRH. As an outpatient, Berniece will work on building her strength and endurance with physical and occupational therapy.

Berniece has specific goals as she continues to recover.  Before her hospitalization, Berniece was walking her dogs all the time. Her ultimate goal is to walk them again without needing an assistive device. She would also like to start volunteering with foster children in the future.

Katharine England’s life on the ranch changed suddenly when she experienced a serious and complex medical event.

Katharine England, 65, lives on a ranch in Kersey, CO where she loves to spend time with her husband and son. She has a passion for animals and enjoys tending after her ponies, dogs, chickens, and cats. She even looks after her neighbors’ donkey and hopes to add one to her family someday. When she’s not with her family or looking after the animals, Katharine works full-time for a construction company. 

Katharine’s daily life changed suddenly one January day when her family found her on the floor. They rushed her to the emergency department where she was diagnosed with a ruptured anterior communicating aneurysm. She underwent double coiling of the aneurysm and had a subarachnoid hemorrhage. Katharine also suffered acute hypoxic respiratory failure, requiring a tracheostomy. 

After a recommendation from the hospital, Katharine’s family decided to transfer her to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. She was excited to start her recovery with such an experienced and supportive staff.  

“The doctors have been great about answering all my questions, and the nurses have been so patient educating me about the medications I receive,” Katharine said. 

Katharine then transitioned to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital to focus on gaining her strength back. “My recovery has been influenced by my end goal of getting home to my animals and family.”

Katharine is excited to get back to her ranch and ultimately get back to work. She is also hoping to finally get the donkey she always wanted. She thanks everyone for the support they have given her during this difficult time and looks forward to continuing on her road to recovery. 

After accidentally ingesting a toxic substance, Raymond Hoppes suffered respiratory failure and required a ventilator.

For the last eight years, Raymond Hoppes has enjoyed retired life with his wife, Laurel. The couple has been married for 49 years and lives in Longmont, Colorado. They have four grandchildren and cherish the time they spend together. Outside of his family, Raymond’s passion is building model railroads. He’s spent a lot of time in Chama, New Mexico working on railroads and building train cars, as well as doing photography.

Recently, life changed dramatically for Raymond when he accidentally ingested a toxic substance. This led to acute hypoxemic respiratory failure and pneumonia. Unable to breathe on his own, Raymond had to be placed on a ventilator. The acute care hospital recommended a transfer to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital (NCLTAH).

Raymond and Laurel agreed and chose NCLTAH for the next stage of his recovery. NCLTAH is designated by The Joint Commission as a “Center of Excellence” for respiratory failure. The hospital’s respiratory failure specialty program proved to be exactly what Raymond needed.

“Both physicians were very caring,” Raymond said, reflecting on his experience at NCLTAH. “Paula, the physical therapist, was wonderful, and so encouraging for my recovery.”

Having made great progress, Raymond looks forward to getting back to his normal routine. He has one more stop on his journey, transferring to a rehabilitation facility to regain more of his strength before returning home.

While recovering from a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm, Edward Bach felt the impact of the staff at NCLTAH.

For fifty years, Edward Bach has worked as a licensed plumber in Windsor, CO. When not dealing with clogged drains and leaky pipes, Edward enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, and spending time with his wife, kids, and six grandchildren.

One day at home, Edward, 67, began feeling nauseous and experiencing a backache. After admitting to the local acute care hospital, Edward was diagnosed with a ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm.

After treatment at the short-term acute care hospital, Edward still required a high level of medical care. He chose to transfer to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. The long-term acute care hospital was close to his home, and his wife could visit daily.

At NCLTAH, Edward made great progress, fueled by his desire to get back to his prior level of function. In addition, the hospital staff made a major impact on him. “I really have enjoyed the physicians,” Edward said. “They are very friendly, spend a lot of time with me, and really put a personal touch on my care! And the nursing staff is always friendly, happy, and eager to help!”

Edward looks forward to the next stage of his recovery: inpatient rehab at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital, then a return home. Edward is most excited about the prospect of going outside again and spending time with his grandkids.

To say no one anticipated what 2020 had in store would be an understatement. This is especially true of COVID-19 and its many repercussions.

Linda is no exception.

Linda was in need of a hip replacement that was delayed due to the concerns surrounding COVID-19. After a gradual decline in her mobility and cognition, her husband, Pat, took her to the hospital.

Doctors diagnosed Linda with a severe infection that started in her hip and spread to most of her spine. This started a long and lengthy recovery before Linda could have her hip replacement. After more than nine surgeries, several weeks of IV antibiotics, and over five weeks on life support, she finally began to improve. Linda finally got her hip replacement.

After the procedure, Linda knew therapy would be a challenge. Not only had she been bedridden for weeks, but the surgeons needed to remove a great deal of muscle and bone tissue due to the infection. When Linda arrived at Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital she began to eat, breathe, and start the process of walking again.

Pat advises from their experience that patients and their families should “listen to their gut”. He also believes that it is incredibly important to surround yourself with a support system and share your story with them. When going through challenging times, it is so important to rely on those around you for support.

Pat’s “take away” was that the medical staff are amazing. He credits their attitude and care as what helped them find the root of the problem.

Though he still has a long recovery ahead, Samuel is thrilled with the progress he’s made at NCLTAH.

Samuel Wier, 54, is a family man. For the last twelve years, he’s worked full-time at Vestas Blades Americas as a maintenance technician. His free time is spent with his wife and three daughters, going to movies and garden centers.

In the fall, Samuel began feeling ill with flu-like symptoms. Since then, he has been hospitalized, either at a short-term acute care hospital or at Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. Samuel was diagnosed with MSSA pneumonia, osteomyelitis, and acute hypoxemic respiratory failure. During this time, he underwent multiple surgeries to treat his complex diagnoses.

Samuel chose Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital to help him recover because he heard the success rate of patients was great. Another important factor was the hospital is close to home, as his wife didn’t want to drive far.

Though he still has a long recovery ahead, Samuel is thrilled with the progress he’s made at NCLTAH. He heralds a “fantastic teamwork environment” at the hospital that enabled his recovery. “It took the entire team to get me to where I am now!” he stated. “Dr. Masotti and Dr. Pearson have been so good to me. They have such great attitudes and have made my experience positive!”

Samuel is most excited to get back home to his family and dogs. His long-term goal is to return to work. But for now, Samuel is extremely ready to be home because he’s been away for nine months!

Facing sepsis, congestive heart failure, and respiratory failure, Steven Schrader chose NCLTAH for his recovery for their expertise in treating medically-complex patients.

Though he’s been on disability for a few years, Steven Schrader does his best to remain active. Steven, 49, lives in Loveland with his spouse and two stepsons. He enjoys spending time with them, as well as fishing, three-wheeling, walking, and hiking.

One day, Steven began experiencing shortness of breath. He admitted to an acute care hospital where doctors diagnosed him with the following:

  • Sepsis, due to pneumonia
  • Congestive heart failure
  • ANCA-associated vasculitis
  • Chronic respiratory failure

Steven’s complex diagnosis led to placement on a ventilator and a tracheostomy. In need of a high level of care for an extended period of time, his primary care physicians recommend Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. Long-term acute care hospitals like NCLTAH are experts in treating medically-complex patients like Steven.

“Everyone has been great, helpful, and kind,” Steven said of his experience at NCLTAH. “The therapists have been great at getting me mobile so I can discharge home. The nurses are awesome and always help me with everything I need. And the food has been good.”

Driven by his desire to return home to his wife and three dogs, Steven remained focused on his discharge day. “There is no place like home!” he added.


Majorie Gilbert credits her recovery to prayer, family support, and the healing environment at NCLTAH.

75-year-old Marjorie Gilbert spends her days caring for others in Arvada, CO. Four days a week, she works as a senior caregiver with Home Instead Senior Care. On a fifth day, she works as a nanny for a little girl. The rest of her time is filled with things she loves. Marjorie is a member of the Red Hat Society, attends a weekly bible study, makes greeting cards, knits, plays the keyboard and piano, and bakes. Her three grown children and her grandchildren live nearby, and Marjorie loves spending time with them

Those are the things that have kept Marjorie going after her car accident.

Marjorie was involved in a single-vehicle accident. Her car swerved off the road and into a ditch. Marjorie suffered serious injuries as a result of the crash, including a spontaneous intraparenchymal brain hemorrhage, subdural hematoma, and acute hypoxic respiratory failure.

It became clear during Marjorie’s initial hospitalization that she would need high-level medical care for an extended period of time. Her family began researching long-term acute care hospitals. That led them to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital. They chose NCLTAH because of patient testimonials and a low nurse-to-patient ratio.

Eleven days after the accident, Marjorie admitted to NCLTAH and made great progress in her recovery. “Marjorie took such good care of herself prior to the accident, and stayed active, so she had reserve when this happened,” said Dr. Pearson, medical director at NCLTAH. “That is why she is recovering so well!”

Marjorie also credits her recovery to a lot of prayer and the involvement of family and friends, as well as the healing environment at NCLTAH.

“All the caregivers are so happy and always laughing,” Marjorie said with a smile. “Everyone is so positive! The PCTs and RNs are top notch and I wish I could take all of them home with me. They check on me all the time and meet all my needs!”

“Success is setting a goal and getting beyond that goal,” Marjorie stated, adding that she feels she succeeded at NCLTAH.

Upon completion of her stay, Marjorie discharged to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital. The goal is to regain strength before going home. Marjorie can’t wait to get home and back to her normal life. Excited to see her family and friends again, Marjorie can’t wait to go on a picnic with them!