Linda Burtch is a 74-year-old retired grandmother who lives in the Austin area after relocating to Texas about 10 years ago. For more than 50 years, Linda was a legal assistant and enjoyed every minute of it. However, these days Linda’s main job is spending time with her kids and grandkids. One day, all of that came to a halt while heading out on a shopping trip just before Christmas. Linda, who typically walks with a cane, caught an uneven surface while getting into a car and lost her balance. The cane slipped and Linda fell hard. She was unable to move, and 911 was called. Luckily, Linda wasn’t alone. Her daughter and granddaughter stayed right by her side the whole time until the ambulance arrived.
Linda was taken to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Lakeway where testing revealed a broken hip, a broken left elbow and an injured left shoulder. She underwent successful hip surgery, but the other injuries caused a lot of pain and loss of motion. Linda’s doctors recommended Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Lakeway (BSWIR-Lakeway) for physical and occupational therapy following her surgery.
“I am so thankful I was transferred to Baylor Scott & White Rehab – Lakeway. I could not have found a better place to rehabilitate. The staff is very professional, very helpful and very kind.”
Post-surgery and upon admission, Linda wasn’t able to walk or do everyday tasks. Prior to her accident, Linda was very active and prided herself on being able to help others. Now, she was the one who needed help and that was taking a mental toll on her.
“There was a day when I was down and ready to give up but my therapist was there to lift me up and encourage me. All of the staff gave me motivation to keep going when I felt like I couldn't do it or when I didn't want to,” Linda recalled.
With her therapist providing just the right motivation when she needed it most, Linda hit a major milestone. She was able to stand up from her wheelchair on her own. Shortly after that, she was up and walking. Her physical therapy sessions, balance and gait training, endurance training was all paying off. The feeling of being up on her feet got Linda to start believing in herself again. She was pushing through the most challenging days and doing things she didn’t think were possible, like climbing stairs.
By the time Linda discharged, she had learned something new about herself – even at 74, as she said. Linda realized that it can be challenging to allow others to help you and take care of you, but that sometimes it’s necessary. She also learned how strong willed she is, pushing though pain to reach her goals.
That willpower paid off for Linda. By the time she was ready to go home, Linda had regained a lot of the independence that was taken from her by her fall. She was able to get up and walk with some assistance and was doing everyday tasks on her own.
Linda is looking forward to getting out for more walks as she continues to build her endurance at home. She’s also ready to get back to work as a full-time grandma.
Learn more about Inpatient Rehabilitation