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!

Gary Wells required a specialty hospital to care for his complex wounds and respiratory needs.

Gary Wells and his girlfriend of eight years love their quiet, small-town life in Platteville, CO. Gary enjoyed spending his time with the Ford V8 club and with his two dogs. Gary, 56, has been disabled for years as a result of multiple injuries from his past as a football player and construction worker.

One day, an infection brought Gary to the local acute care hospital. Doctors diagnosed him with Fournier’s gangrene, a particularly life-threatening form of necrotizing fasciitis. Gary underwent multiple surgeries, leaving him with complex wound care needs. He also became severely debilitated, contracted sepsis, and suffered both acute and chronic respiratory failure.

Facing a long and difficult recovery, Gary needed to transfer to a new hospital. He required a hospital that could provide proper wound care while managing his complex medical needs. His girlfriend toured multiple facilities in search of the right one. Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital impressed her. Gary affirmed her choice. He appreciated that the clinical liaisons checked on him daily.

Gary transferred to NCLTAH and began to make great progress. The staff made an immediate and lasting impression on him. “All the nurses are great and care so much about the patients here,” Gary reflected. “They have always been here for me, on my good days, and also my harder days. The wound care RN, Nikki, helps any way she can. She is very competent with wound care. Dr. Pearson and Dr. Masotti always have positive attitudes and are straight forward.”

A strong support system also played an important role. Friends and family provided the ultimate motivation for Gary’s recovery. His first goal is to return home with his girlfriend and their dogs. Then, Gary has his sights set on regaining enough strength to be independent once again.

“A healthy and active lifestyle, faith, and a team effort is the path to recovery.”

After a staph infection turned into sepsis, Dan required high-level medical care, bringing him to NCLTAH.

On a Wednesday, Dan James, 38, had constipation. By Friday morning, Dan collapsed. He was transported to an emergency department and admitted to the hospital with sepsis.

Sepsis is an infection in the blood that affects millions of people worldwide each year. It can cause organs to shut down, blood clots, low blood pressure, and death.

Doctors found that Dan had a staph infection in 11 of his 12 major joints that led to sepsis. Dan and his doctors are still unclear on how he acquired this infection. However, staph is everywhere.

Treatment included antibiotics, multiple surgeries, countless tests, and several medications. Dan’s kidneys stopped working properly and he required dialysis. He was bedridden for three weeks in the hospital. He then transferred to Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital, requiring high-level medical care. “I cannot take care of myself,” thought Dan.

Dan’s father, Rick, and mother, Ada, were there every step of the way, constantly supporting and encouraging him. “You HAVE to go through this,” Rick told him. “We will go through this one step at a time.”

Dan attributes his recovery to the care of the hospital staff and his outstanding support system of family and friends. He also expressed gratitude for every improvement, every gain. Dan’s appreciative attitude aided him in exceeding each goal he was given. While his therapy was “really hard,” Dan trusted and built a strong relationship with his therapists. He knew how to find the balance to work through the pain while being safe.

Three weeks later, despite great progress, it wasn’t yet safe for Dan to return home. Dan transferred to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital where he participated in an aggressive physical and occupational therapy regimen. Now able to care for himself, Dan has returned home. He continued working on his recovery through the outpatient therapy program at NCRH, focusing on increasing his stamina. He chose NCRH’s outpatient program because he knew he’d continue to progress there. He also trusted that they would keep him safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As he expected, Dan continued to progress with outpatient therapy. He no longer requires a front-wheel walker, now walking without any assistive device. “I love coming to the outpatient program here because I get to see my same favorite therapists and show them how far I’ve come!”

Dan attributed his recovery to owning his therapy and the “team effort” of his family and friends. Inspired by his experience, Dan plans to attend PTA school. He is excited to help others recover like the teams at NCLTAH and NCRH have helped him.