It was a long journey to recovery for Alan Baldwin, but with the assistance of the team at Life Care Center of Acton, Massachusetts, he is now back home.
Everything started when Baldwin’s diabetes caused an abscess on his left leg, which was then complicated by osteomyelitis, a bone infection. He had to have his left big toe amputated. Unfortunately, a month later, he was back in the hospital needing his second toe amputated, and after a third toe became necrotic and had to be amputated, doctors determined that he needed a below-the knee amputation to keep the infection from spreading.
Baldwin arrived at Life Care Center of Acton on March 17, 2016, after his final amputation. He could not stand or walk, and his surgery wound was slow to heal. The nursing team focused intensely on helping him clinically.
When he was ready, physical therapy helped Baldwin learn how to use a slide board and increase his independence and time out of bed.
“From that point forward, Alan would be seen navigating the halls in a wheelchair independently,” said Monica Pilcher, director of rehab services. “He frequently came out to the front lobby to socialize, which was a huge improvement in both his level of function and socialization with others in the facility.”
Baldwin’s amputation site finally healed, and on July 2, he received a prosthetic leg. Next came the task of regaining strength and learning how to walk again. For two months, he worked with the physical therapists and began occupational therapy to learn self-care skills with his new level of mobility.
Baldwin returned home on Sept. 2, just in time for a Labor Day barbecue! He was able to get his prosthetic on and off on his own, and he could walk up to 70 feet with a walker and safely go up and down the stairs.
“Now, a month later, Alan continues to reside in his home and seems to have successfully integrated back into the community,” said Pilcher.