SHELBYVILLE, IL – In 2013, Linda Wonderling experienced a stroke and her rehabilitation needs brought her to HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital (GSS). She benefited from GSS therapy programs as the staff worked with Linda to teach her to regain her strength and better her mobility. Therapy helped Linda become stronger and more independent. Months of hard work in therapy allowed Linda and her husband, Marvin, to make their annual winter trip to Florida.
Linda returned to therapy within a year and joined the GSS Wellness for Life Program. Marvin then informed the therapy staff that Linda experienced another stroke. Marvin was grateful for the help of the therapy staff because he knew exercise would build her strength which would help Linda gain back some of her independence at home.
Despite therapy, her body deteriorated. Marvin became Linda’s primary caretaker and housekeeper. In June 2017, while trimming a tree, Marvin fell two stories from his ladder. He was taken to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield for assessment. He needed an orthopedic surgeon to address multiple fractures in his pelvis, right leg, ankle and back.
After his surgery, Marvin was transferred to GSS. He was placed in the medical-surgical unit for additional nursing care and therapy. Even the smallest movement was difficult for him. The nursing team worked to heal Marvin’s leg with continual dressing changes. After two weeks of focused hard work, he was finally able to sit up in bed.
Even with the constant care of highly trained nurses, Marvin’s right leg was not healing properly so he was transferred once again to Springfield for additional surgery. The surgeons worked hard to save his right leg.
Marvin was transferred three more times to St. John’s for surgery. Each time after surgery Marvin returned to the GSS medical-surgical department for further care. Keeping a positive outlook, he did everything the staff asked. Marvin was determined to return home. In his absence, Linda stayed at a nursing home. It was his goal to reunite with his wife in their own home.
On July 27, Marvin went home. Marvin was able to drive home himself, use a walker and take care of himself. He used adaptive equipment to gain his independence.
Sadly, his leg was not healing and the doctor recommended an amputation. Marvin decided to go through with the amputation, and it was his last surgery. He then returned to GSS as a swing bed patient. Several times throughout his stay with the hospital, Linda was also admitted to the medical-surgical unit. Her health was quickly declining.
During Marvin’s recuperation from his amputation, Linda was placed into hospice care. Marvin wanted to return home so that he could be by her side with what time she had left. The medical-surgical, home health and rehabilitation services teams worked diligently with Marvin to grant his wish. As a result of everyone’s combined efforts, Marvin was at home by Linda’s side when she peacefully passed.
After his return home, GSS home health services stepped in to help with his continuum of care. The GSS therapy and medical-surgical departments had become like a second family to Marvin. Already fond of his team of therapists, Marvin was grateful to continue his work with the same team of friendly faces.
Marvin was limited on the amount of time he could stand, so he worked with home care therapy to navigate in his home. Home health monitored the incision healing and prevented infection. With one leg mobility, he relearned to use the walker, a bench to shower and safely transfer to his favorite chair. Enthusiasm fueled Marvin to strengthen his muscles. He was excited about getting his new prosthetic leg.
Three months after his amputation, Marvin was fitted with a prosthetic leg. He returned to therapy as an outpatient. Again, he relearned to walk with his new prosthesis. His courage remained boundless, as well as his indomitable spirit and sense of humor. Therapists focused on Marvin’s balance, leg strength and coordination while walking. Dedicated to reclaiming independence, Marvin’s diligence was as constant as his bright smile.
On Marvin’s last day of therapy in November, he could retrieve things from the floor, traverse stairs, walk in his home without a cane and prepare meals. Once again, this year due to his unsinkable spirit and hard work with his therapists, Marvin was able to take his annual winter trip to Florida.
To hear Marvin tell his story, please visit https://hshsgoodshepherd.org/Medical-Services.
Photo: Marvin walks the halls of HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital with one of his favorite caretakers, Becky Burrus.
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Belleville, Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visitwww.hospitalsisters.org.