Dianna's Story

Dianna Smith's Story

Dianna Smith was at home when her left arm became red and swollen. The 78-year-old great-grandmother went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with cellulitis.

Further testing revealed a blood infection and damaged kidneys. Admitted to the hospital, she began dialysis. Dianna then developed chest pains. Physicians quickly discovered the source -- a heart infection coupled with abnormal rhythm.  She underwent a cardiac catheterization and surgery. Later, a pacemaker was implanted.

After 21 days, Dianna stabilized and doctors transferred her to Select Specialty Hospital – Pontiac for additional healing and recovery time.

She arrived weak and needing assistance to stand, walk and conduct self-care. Typically independent, Dianna was, at times, frustrated by these limitations.

A physician-led team, including nurses and therapists, created a plan to help her regain self-sufficiency.

Physical therapists started a mobility program, helping her roll and move in bed, transfer and sit in a wheelchair. By week’s end, Dianna could stand and walk with a walker.

Occupational therapists worked on gripping, reaching and grasping exercises, which helped Dianna relearn how to dress and brush her teeth and hair.

A team of kidney specialists monitored her care, and Dianna weaned off dialysis.

One month after arriving, Dianna was well enough to go home. She planned to continue building strength through outpatient therapy.

But most of all, Dianna couldn’t wait to make up for lost time with her husband Larry and their grandchildren and great-grandchildren doing fun activities like baking and word searches.