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Our Patients

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      John Hoge


      John Hoge is a 67-year old father, former police officer, correctional facility officer and a military veteran. In his spare time, he enjoys weightlifting, walking and spending time outside.

      It was early November when John underwent an aortic valve replacement as well as a MAZE procedure, which is used to treat atrial fibrillation, a disruption in the electrical signals in the heart that causes a fast or erratic heartbeat. Both procedures went well initially, but soon after John began to experience respiratory failure which resulted in an ICU stay. Once stabilized, John was sent to an acute rehabilitation unit.

      When bloodwork showed that he had an increased white blood cell count, which can signal an infection, John underwent a CT scan to determine the problem. During the scan, he suffered cardiac arrest and was given CPR. He was then given a tracheostomy and feeding tube, put on a ventilator and treated with antibiotics for his infections. By early December, he was stable enough to be transferred to Select Specialty Hospital – Phoenix for extended healing and recovery.

      Upon arrival, John was on the ventilator and struggling with confusion and disorientation. He received all nutrition through a feeding tube, was unable to walk and needed the assistance of two people for getting in and out of bed, dressing and using the bathroom. John could not speak, requiring him to mouth words or attempt to write what he wanted to say, which was difficult to read. By his second day at Select Specialty Hospital, John’s tracheostomy was fitted with a speaking valve, allowing him to communicate with his children by phone, which lifted his spirits.

      Through the care of his physician-led team, John liberated from the ventilator within two weeks. While he still had a tracheostomy, it was capped to allow him to breathe independently. As John’s confusion improved, he was able to get in and out of bed, walk and perform personal care with minimal assistance. Progress continued, John’s feeding tube was removed enabling him to eat a regular diet without difficulty.

      On Christmas Eve, John began the next step in his recovery journey when he arrived at HonorHealth Rehabilitation, an inpatient rehabilitation hospital. His physicians, nurses and therapists worked to help him regain strength and stamina. Knowing that John was active before becoming ill, therapists safely incorporated one of his hobbies, weightlifting, into therapy. They also helped him improve coordination, balance and endurance through boxing, which John loved.

      In therapy, John’s ability to walk, move, eat, speak and care for himself advanced quickly. Within two weeks, he was ready to head to his daughter’s home to continue recovering with outpatient therapy.

      John described his experience at both Select Specialty Hospital – Phoenix and HonorHealth Rehabilitation Hospital as “wonderful” and praised his nurses and therapists for “always being kind and caring.” He is excited to build on his progress, return to normal life and resume doing the things he loves. John is grateful for his family, who provided motivation and support throughout his illness and recovery.