At 70, Juan Barrientos was still enjoying an active life, renovating apartment complexes for a real estate development company and spending his personal time biking and dancing.
In late August, Juan was walking back to the office after lunch. Looking down at his phone, he ran head-on into a ladder propped on the back of a parked pick-up truck. Knocked to the ground, he heard a loud “pop.” An ambulance rushed him to Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas.
X-rays revealed a broken femur just below the hip. He underwent surgery and days later transferred to Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Dallas (BSWIR-Dallas) for added healing and recovery.
“No pain. No gain,” was Juan’s motto.
Meeting his main goal of returning to work meant committing to BSWIR-Dallas’ therapeutic program, even if it was difficult. Some days, Juan wanted to quit or abandon an exercise mid-session. His therapists stepped in with support, urging him to push on. Each time, Juan was pleasantly surprised to see he’d succeeded.
He was fitted for a walker and worked extensively with physical therapists to restore strength and balance in his right leg. Together, they practiced stairs to prepare for returning home.
Juan’s breakthrough moment came in occupational therapy. While relearning to dress himself, putting on socks became a sticking point. Initially, he didn’t want to lean over too, fearing a fall. Therapists helped work through each obstacle until he successfully donned the socks. Small victories were critical motivators.
“The more you do, the better you feel,” Juan said.
After two weeks, he was ready to go home. Juan continued healing through outpatient physical therapy and looks forward to getting back to work, exercising, dancing and playing with the grandkids.
The biggest takeaway? One moment can change your life and Juan was thankful his injury wasn’t worse, promising, “I will be more aware of my surroundings from now on.”