Myrtle's Story

Myrtle Smith gets in a car after therapy.
Myrtle Smith’s life was full. She and her husband could often be found sitting in the bleachers cheering on their grandchildren during sporting events. The couple was also center stage at any gathering of family and friends with Myrtle frequently whipping up dishes for everyone.

Myrtle’s active nature kept her swimming three times a week, socializing or helping the community through her church group. But those activities slowed in 2016 when Myrtle sustained a kidney injury. Her medical team helped her recover but she ran into complications later with a bone infection and blood clots in both legs. That infection carried into her toes. Myrtle would recover, but only after several toes and one of her legs were amputated. Her above-the-knee amputation required inpatient rehabilitation therapy and for that, Myrtle chose Select Rehabilitation Hospital of Denton.

Following surgery, the 79-year-old was weak and unable to stand. Determined, she let her care team know she would “do everything they tell me, so I can get back to my life and everything I enjoy doing.”

Physical therapy had Myrtle concentrate on transferring from a bed to a chair with increased independence, improving standing tolerance and building strength in her left leg. This would also prepare Myrtle for a future prosthesis. Myrtle recalled her milestone recovery moments as standing for the first time, standing for two minutes and transferring to the toilet with less assistance.

Occupational therapy had the Nocona resident work on upper arm strength with weights and resistance bands to improve her ability to push to standing from sitting, and to use assistive devices for dressing and bathing. A retired food service staffer, Myrtle wanted to regain arm strength for all the dishes she prepared for family and friends.

Education was another key element of Myrtle’s rehab stay. She learned to wrap and shape her residual limb for her prosthesis. Her daughter, a wound care nurse, was also ready to help her in wrapping her residual limb after discharge. She also attended therapy group sessions with other amputee patients, giving her needed support and encouragement. The therapeutic games with other patients in recreational therapy resparked Myrtle’s social nature and appetite for fun. The therapy team prepared Myrtle for continued healing and rehabilitation, conducting family training sessions and a home visit. Myrtle shared that she felt well prepared for her return home saying, “The staff at Select Rehabilitation Hospital of Denton is so helpful. I also appreciated the therapy gym and the variety of equipment that helped in my recovery.”

She looks forward to going home to see her 14-year-old dog and plans to continue to build strength with home health services.

Myrtle is thankful for her time at Denton from therapy to the hospital’s support group and the family resources and training, “If you need any kind of rehabilitation, I highly recommend you pursue it here.” She was primed for her return home where she’ll conduct at-home therapy and get back into all her favorite activities with family and friends.
*Patient success stories from across our hospital network.