Case Study: The Grove at Valhalla Rehabilitation & Nursing Center (Q4 2023)

Concierge: Noa Hacker
Patient name: Michael Fraser
Patient age: 62
Admission Date: 10/04/23
Admitted From: Westchester Medical Center
Discharge Date: 12/12/23
Discharged To: home
Length of Stay: 69 days
Reason for Stay: Below Knee Amputation (BKA)
How did the patient hear about The Grove: Through the recommendation of his cousin Janeze Dennis, who was previously employed as a PTA at the Grove.

Details of Experience:

Mr. Fraser’s health journey began in January when he injured his big toe, unknowingly leading to infection. Initially treated for gout, it was not until July that he realized the treatment was ineffective, and his foot was turning black. Seeking help from Dr. Mateo at Westchester Medical Center, a vascular physician, it was determined that the toe was gangrenous, necessitating amputation. Following the procedure, Mr. Fraser underwent a week of rehab at Taylor Care at Westchester Medical Center to adapt to life without a big toe. Unfortunately, a post-amputation setback occurred, revealing persistent infection and blocked arteries in his leg.

Faced with the choice of a short-term bypass surgery or a below-knee amputation (BKA), Mr. Fraser, after extensive consultation with family and friends, opted for the BKA. Post-amputation, he spent three weeks at Taylor Care before transferring to the Grove on the recommendation of his cousin and former therapist at the Grove, Janeze Dennis.

The initial phase at the Grove was to help Mr. Fraser become independent, progressing from using a Hoyer Lift to transferring in and out of the dialysis chair independently. Subsequent steps involved wound healing, prosthetic measurement, selecting the right sock, and testing out the fit of the prosthetic.

Once all was set in place with the prosthetic, the trajectory of Mr. Fraser’s stay began with learning how to use his prosthetic, followed by implementing its use in activities of daily living and learning how to become fully independent. Tibu and Chris worked with Mr. Fraser toward achieving his goals of regaining strength and mastering various walking techniques using tools such as a bike, arm lifting, push-ups, and weights. His final goal was to transition away from using a walker when possible, which he has mastered.

At the conclusion of his journey, Mr. Fraser is now self-sufficient in all daily activities, adept at walking with a cane, negotiating stairs, and ambulating outdoors, as well as independently managing his prosthetic. Despite the challenges, Mr. Fraser emerged as the fastest amputee to heal and receive a prosthetic at the Grove, now walking independently and occasionally without a walker.

Throughout his time at the Grove, Mr. Fraser interacted with Todd Schaffhauser and Dennis Oehler, Champions of the CareRite Comprehensive Amputee Rehabilitation Program, who shared their experiences with their amputations and prosthetic journeys, offering valuable insights on utilizing the prosthetics for activities such as stair climbing and walking with a single rail. Mr. Fraser commends their vast knowledge and upbeat disposition, highlighting their support and encouragement. Inspired by their ability to drive, he remains hopeful about his recovery.

Mr. Fraser’s most significant takeaway from his Grove experience is the professionalism and camaraderie among the therapists, noting their friendly approach that made him feel more like a friend than a patient. He advises everyone, “While it would be nice not to get hurt, I highly recommend the Grove and their therapists if you do.”