“Continuum of care gets dedicated community servant back in the action
A man who generally doesn’t enjoy wasting time stressing over events over which he has no control, Dick Fortunato does however lament, partly in jest, that he missed several celebrations this summer including his granddaughter’s high school graduation, his own birthday and Father’s Day.
The troubles for this Plantsville resident began in May when he fell over a glass table in a business waiting room. With visible cuts, bruises and painful swelling, his wife drove him to the Emergency Department at the Hospital of Central Connecticut, Bradley Memorial campus for treatment. He had escaped fractures, but with a severe leg wound and multiple sub-cutaneous hematomas he needed wound care. Within a few weeks of treatment at a wound center and home nursing care, the wound seemed to be getting worse.
After consultation with a physician at the Wound Care Center at the Hospital of Central Connecticut in New Britain, Fortunato learned that he had five types of bacterial infections and would need surgery. Having surgery on his birthday – June 17 – wasn’t his idea of celebrating but he took it in stride, hopeful that he would soon be on the road to recovery. Within six days of surgery, 87-year-old Fortunato was admitted to Southington Care Center for short-term rehabilitation with closely monitored nursing care for the healing of the wound.
His first step literally was learning how to get out of bed, use a walker, and then a cane, all with a wound-vac strapped to his leg. His focus became working diligently at his twice-daily physical and occupational therapy sessions. “I was there 24 days, always counting the days and weeks since the injury until I was home again on July 25th with continuing daily home nursing visits and weekly visits to the wound center in New Britain until late September,” Fortunato said.
Putting his active life on hold was difficult for this community and church volunteer who also pens a blog and newspaper column, “Appleseed,” as well as other articles. “I remember watching Fourth of July celebrations on TV alone in my room after visitors went home. I felt so down,” he recalled. “I thought, ‘Is this it, Lord?’”
However, his faith - coupled with the encouragement of his wife, Grace, family, Southington Care Center staff, many visitors and even the volunteers - kept him focused on regaining his strength and normal abilities. Looking back, he said he was aware of and impressed with the entire staff. “They all seemed to be in sync – in a seamless harmony of care, each one knowing what I needed.”
“At Southington Care Center, they are doing their job and more. They have a visibly strong feeling of compassion, understand your pain, share their stories and listened to mine,” Fortunato commented. “The attention was unbelievable. I wasn’t with strangers – they were like family and friends.”
Fortunato continues now in out-patient physical therapy and will be transitioning into the GoodLife Fitness program at the SCC Rehab Pavilion.
“At Southington Care, I feel like I’m a real person in the community, a neighbor, a friend. There’s a continuum of heart-felt care that is so important in healing,” he concluded.
Fortunato vows not to miss his next big celebration: his and Grace’s 65th anniversary in January.
“To the Southington Care Center staff and administration,
I would like to thank all you for great care I recently received for the wonderful care after my hip replacement. I was happy I decided to go to rehab after my surgery and pleased you were able to accommodate me.
Your outstanding staff (i.e. nursing, housekeeping, dietary) made my stay a great experience. I don’t want to leave out your fabulous therapy department. If not for Laura and OT Meagan, I wouldn’t have had the confidence they instilled in me.
I want to acknowledge Robin, Anne and Rachael for great nursing, Hanna and Gladis as outstanding CNAs. Not to be left out: admissions, social services and discharge planning for a smooth admission and discharge.
Keep up the great work.
Sincerely and God bless,
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the great staff at SCC. Following my knee replacement surgery in April, I spent 5 days at SCC. During my in-patient stay I worked with Ceil for PT and Crisla for OT. Once discharged, I continued Physical Therapy for several weeks on an outpatient basis and worked with Laurel and Ken.
The PT and OT staff always maintained a positive “Can Do” attitude, even on the days I felt challenged! Laurel, Ceil, Ken, and Crisla constantly provided a supportive and caring environment, and never hesitated to respond to my concerns. Their encouragement and sense of humor certainly facilitated my progress. I am currently participating in the “Good Life Fitness” program under the direction of Rob. The success of this valuable program is due to Rob’s dedication and upbeat personality. My quick and complete recovery is truly a reflection on your extraordinary staff!”
—With Sincere Thanks, Mary Ann O’Brien
“I am walking again without the need for any assistance or even a cane since my bi-lateral knee operation by Dr. Froeb and Dr. Carangelo.
I not only attribute this to the excellent job done by two fine doctors,their staff and the folks and The Hospital of Central Connecticut but also the nurses, aides, physical therapy and occupational therapy folks at Southington Care Center were instrumental in my progress.
The thirty days I spent preparing at home for this operation through exercises as shown in the “knees” binder (from the Joint Center at the Hospital of Central Connecticut) was most helpful as well it become my Bible.
And I attribute an even greater part of the healing process as a result of the opportunity to participate in the pre-op physical therapy with Good Life Fitness. It was focused and helped with the needed upper body strength. I would recommend that anyone who is to have a knee replacement get ready in advance through home exercise and participation in your Pre-hab Physical Therapy Program.
Thank you again for that opportunity and the fine care of all the personnel at Southington Care Center.”
—Patricia Simard , Southington Care Center Client