Jim Peterson is a retired ENT physician who lives in Greeley, Colorado. Jim, 80, loves to read, walk, cook (especially bread), listen to music, and play the banjo. Jim also finds joy in being with his family, including his wife of 57 years, Sylvia, his children, and five grandchildren.
After undergoing back surgery (an elective L4-5 fusion), Jim entered a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation. While there, he suffered a cerebrovascular accident (CVA), or stroke. This led to weakness on his right side, known as right hemiparesis.
Both his friends and the staff at the acute care hospital told Jim that Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital has the best stroke program. Trusting their recommendation, Jim admitted to NCRH to his recovery.
“Day-to-day this has been a rollercoaster ride,” Jim said of his recent medical issues, “but it is so important to turn a negative experience into a positive one. It takes gradual baby steps that you notice over time to see improvements.”
Jim also recognizes that Sylvia’s support and setting goals were critical in staying focused. “My recovery was most influenced by my wife and my desire to continue my hobbies,” he noted.
Sylvia explains further, “his motivation for recovery is his philosophy in life. That means his hard work ethic, hardly complaining, and knowing as a physician that there are consequences if you stop trying.”
“At Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital, I felt I was working with a team and not for them,” Jim said, reflecting on his stay. “The staff was wonderful. They developed rapport with me and this was helpful in many ways.”
“Success is all about achieving modest goals,” Jim stated. “Those goals for me are to get back to playing the banjo again, becoming more ambulatory, standing for longer periods of time to cook, and of course making bread again!”
“Jim never stops working hard at improving,” Sylvia said, adding, “he even does exercise in bed!”