Tag Archive for: Respiratory Failure

When a knee infection led to septic shock and other complications, Luis chose NCLTAH to help him recover

Luis Pagan moved to Fort Collins in 2005 with his significant other of 32 years and his two children. The 64-year-old loves woodworking, fixing electronics, hiking, and traveling.

One March day, Luis’s life dramatically changed when he began to feel weak and fell on the floor at home. Unable to get up, Luis was taken by ambulance to the acute care hospital. The day before, Luis had done a five-mile hike and felt fine.

It turned out that Luis had a knee infection which caused septic shock. Unfortunately, Luis experienced many complications during his initial hospitalization, including respiratory issues, blood clots, and renal failure.

Looking ahead to the next phase of his recovery, Luis spoke with Arba Boci, a clinical liaison at Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital (NCLTAH). Luis felt good about what they discussed and chose to transfer to NCLTAH.

“Everyone works together to help each other out,” Luis said about the NCLTAH, a critical care hospital. “It’s been such a great environment.”

Luis offered lots of praise for the NCLTAH staff, which significantly impacted him during his stay.

“I loved all the nurses, PCTs, and Dr. Pearson. They were incredible! Dr. Pearson was empathetic, compassionate, friendly, and always makes you feel like a friend and not just a patient. The CEO, Brenda Simon, was awesome and so personable. The PCTs, Dylan Seagren, Isaiah Parker, Erica Johnson, and Kamika Kieler, went above and beyond with caring for me. The nurses, Kelly Parkhouse and Katie Martin, have been great! They are so positive and have a great attitude. Amy Oestmann (OT) was incredible and helped me progress from having a lot of pain initially to getting more active.”

After several weeks, Luis transferred across campus to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital.

Luis saw his family grow close as a result of his hospitalization and is excited to return home to them soon. He is particularly excited to go out to eat, cook (he loves making international cuisine), and, most of all, get back to hiking with his significant other.

Ronald Mena came to NCLTAH to wean off the ventilator so he could start intensive therapy.

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 overcame many obstacles during her recovery at NCLTAH including acute hypoxemic respiratory failure.

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!”

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.