Raymond Leatham and his wife, Kathleen

Carlton, Oregon, resident Raymond Leatham is back home again after dealing with sepsis and two toe amputations, thanks to rehabilitation at Life Care Center of McMinnville, Oregon.


When Leatham arrived at the skilled nursing and rehab center on May 24, 2018, he was very weak and had decreased cognitive awareness. He needed maximum assistance with bed mobility and sitting balance and required a mechanical lift to help him get out of bed.


All three therapy disciplines got involved in Leatham’s recovery – physical, occupational and speech.


Physical therapists’ main focus was to help Leatham regain mobility and strength, as well as balance. They used electrical stimulation to help promote healing in his feet and legs, and as he improved physically, they helped him learn to use a pole as a tool for getting in and out of bed. As he recovered from his amputation, they also had him practice standing and walking.


Occupational therapists helped retrain Leatham in his self-care tasks, such as getting dressed, using fasteners and opening and closing containers. They also used mirror therapy – in which a person mirrors the actions of another – to help him practice motions.


“As Ray gained confidence in his ability to improve his level of independence through therapy, his entire outlook changed, allowing him to increase strength and independence even more quickly,” said Katelyn Barnett, occupational therapist.


Speech therapists worked with him to improve his thinking skills.


Not only was Leatham’s therapy a team effort on behalf of the therapists, but his wife got involved as well, learning what she would need in order to help him at home once he completed rehabilitation.


“Ray and his wife remained motivated to progress toward a safe discharge home,” said Elizabeth Garcia, physical therapist assistant.


Leatham was able to return home with his wife on Sept. 22. He can now get in and out of bed with one person’s assistance and can walk up to 50 feet at a time with a walker and his family with him. He is continuing his physical and occupational therapies at Life Care Center of McMinnville as an outpatient to progress further.


“Therapy has been superior in getting me strong and healthy again,” said Leatham. “All the caregivers and therapists are a pleasure to work with."