After Thomas Terrell had a stroke last winter, he was referred to VNA Home Health services and was pleased with the compassionate care his team of nurses provided. “I became partially paralyzed on my left side, so they helped make sure my blood pressure and everything else was alright,” says Thomas. “I also had to have a walker so the physical therapist, he helped me get up, do some exercises and what not…he was very good, I liked him.”
About six months later, Thomas developed a severe case of diverticulitis and needed a colostomy operation that also required post-op follow-up care, and he requested VNA. “They were good the first time, so I figured they’d be just as good the second time. That’s why we selected VNA,” says Thomas, who was so weak at the time that he had to take a leave of absence from his job in shipping and receiving at AAR Government Services, Inc., a government contractor. His goal was to return to work, and with the help of his VNA caregivers, he recently did.
Thomas, who is 74 and served in the U.S. Air Force for 20 years, had VNA home health approximately twice a week for two months, and once again, it included physical therapy. “I was doing exercises inside and outside depending on when the nurse came. Sometimes it was too hot to be outside,” he says, adding that he learned valuable exercises he can practice on his own.
In addition to physical therapy, Thomas was provided help adjusting to his colostomy bag. This was challenging, and he was pleased at the level of care his nurses provided as was his wife, Karen. She worked closely with one VNA nurse in particular, Lisa Pascarella. “My wife’s a retired RN and they could talk together and my wife understood everything she was saying,” says Thomas. “And Lisa helped us get the colostomy supplies and recommendations for various things. She told me how to do the swap out on the bag and so on. She was just an all-around good nurse.”
His wife concurs. “As a retired RN, I can say the care and education was very professional, informative and caring. If I had a question they couldn’t answer, they would research it and find the answer for me. Lisa was our main nurse and she always had a smile on her face and was very understanding,” says Karen.
The positive feeling was mutual. “It was really nice visiting with Thomas and his wife. It was very enjoyable, and we would laugh about things and talk about things off the record,” recalls Lisa fondly.
To find out more about VNA’s home health care or physical therapy services, please visit www.vnatc.com/home-health.