Laura's Story

Each time she needed us, we were there

At 67, Laura Fry had seen her share of hospitals.

In and out of them for nearly a year following extensive complications from hernia surgery, she gradually lost independence and the ability to move.

When her abdominal wound became infected again, Laura insisted she be brought back to the one place she always counted on for healing care – Select Specialty Hospital – Dallas.

She’d been to other long-term care hospitals and skilled nursing facilities, she said, and none were up to managing her extensive wounds well.

During her third stay at SSH-Dallas, the physician-led team created a plan to help her recover again.

Her wound care program, led by Dr. Hina Rizvi, included specially pressurized dressings and nurses checking her skin for breakdowns and frequent repositioning to avoid further damage. For two months, Laura was closely treated and monitored.

On a feeding tube, Laura was provided with powerful intravenous antibiotics, pain management and needed extensive physical therapy.

Dietitians worked closely with Laura’s doctors, including attending physician Dr. Zain Sharif, to carefully plan her return to a normal diet. As her wound healed internally, they began introducing ice chips, then thickened liquids. Speech therapists conducted a swallow study to see if she could swallow without drawing food or water into her lungs. When she passed, she worked up to pureed foods then a normal diet.

Pharmacists reviewed her medications daily, optimizing her regimen for maximum healing.

Physical therapists began a limited mobility program, focusing on keeping her core steady while building strength and stamina in her arms and legs.

Over the course of two months, Laura’s wound closed. She was able to sit up, sit at the edge of her bed and get into a chair.

Laura returned home in February, assisted by home health after a year of hospitalizations.