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VNA Care Clinicians “a Light in a Very Dark Tunnel” for Family After Stroke 

There were no signs of the brain tumor that caused Scott Granados to have a stroke nearly one year ago. He was left bedbound and spent months in rehabilitation facilities without making any progress in regaining his strength and mobility.

Scott, who has no sight, wanted to return to the comfort and familiar surroundings of his own home. With the support of his parents, Gail Evans and Archie Granados, and the home health care team at VNA Care, Scott made the transition from a rehabilitation facility to home.

Danielle Salmonsen, PT, and Jennifer Kenary, OT, were part of the team that was determined to help Scott achieve his goal of getting out of bed and into a wheelchair.

“They were a light in a very dark tunnel,” remembered Gail.

Danielle and Jennifer started Scott on exercises that could be done in bed to improve his strength. They provided support to Scott’s parents, made suggestions for medical equipment, and taught them how to use a lift to move Scott from his bed to a wheelchair.

Scott tried to get the most out of every visit. “They turned the whole thing around for us,” he said.

As Scott made progress, Danielle and Jennifer would focus on the next step in helping him meet his goal. He was eventually able to roll over and sit himself up on the side of the bed. They got creative in turning his home into a gym. A can of clam chowder made a great hand weight, and a half wall was used in place of a parallel bar.

Gail said, “Every time he did something new, it was a very positive day and a very thankful day.”

The family received support from numerous clinicians during the months Scott received care at home. Shannan Martins, LICSW, social work manager, helped Scott access disability benefits and other resources to support him during this challenging time. Carley LaKritz, RN, worked with Scott’s primary care physician on a medication schedule, assessed his vital signs, and monitored his overall health.

While still receiving home-based health services from VNA Care, Scott learned he would have to return to the hospital to have a kidney removed due to cancer. After his successful surgery and a brief stay at a rehabilitation facility, VNA Care’s home health team once again helped him return home to heal and improve his strength.

Scott reached a major milestone in his recovery during the fall; he stood and took a few steps with Danielle and Jennifer.

Scott said, “It felt very good. I was finally hopeful again.”

Gail added, “They made a huge, huge difference. ...To come home and have somebody jump right in and make progress was life-changing.”

VNA Care is committed to helping individuals who have experienced a stroke achieve their best possible health and remain independent in the community. The organization is part of the Paul Coverdell Post-Acute Quality Improvement Collaborative at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

Pictured, from left: Jennifer Kenary, OT, Scott Granados, and Danielle Salmonsen, PT

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