PLEASANT GAP – Melvin Romig, 76, recently celebrated a one-year anniversary; a rehab anniversary, that is.
Last July, Melvin walked out of HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital and headed home, using just a walker. That was practically a miracle, considering that 20 days prior, upon admission to HealthSouth, Melvin was in a wheelchair, unable to take care of himself.
Melvin explains, “Last June, I had neck surgery at PinnacleHealth Hospital in Harrisburg, and a few days later, I was in surgery again for a blood clot in my neck. After that, I couldn’t even lift my hands for three days. I wasn’t able to feed myself; I was in a bad way.”
After eight days at PinnacleHealth Hospital, Melvin went to HealthSouth Nittany Valley in Pleasant Gap for inpatient rehabilitation. “My whole life, I was always working,” Melvin says. “I just wanted to be active again, and I knew that I needed help.”
Melvin’s HealthSouth case manager, Michelle Heverly, describes his progress in rehab: “When Melvin came to HealthSouth, his biggest barriers included walking and self-care, such as bathing and dressing. When he was discharged, 20 days later, he was walking over 800 feet with a walker, and with no help from staff.
“And, he was able to care for himself with the help and support of his wife, Joan.” Heverly adds, “Melvin is an example of how the combination of a positive attitude, hard work from the patient and therapists, and family support can lead to success in rehabilitation.”
Since retiring from Standard Steel, Melvin has continued working, volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. “I helped to build all of the Habitat houses in my area except for the last one,” he says. He also volunteers with the World Hunger Association, canning food for distribution to third world countries. That work ethic was part of what made Melvin’s rehabilitation successful.
He adds, “In physical therapy, I needed a lot of help with walking and getting coordinated. The therapists encouraged me, and pushed me to do more. And I kept up with the exercises, even in my room, doing them in bed when I could.”
Melvin was discharge to home and continued with therapy at a HealthSouth Outpatient Clinic. At a recent visit to HealthSouth, Melvin reconnected with employees who helped get him back on his feet and home again. “You are all angels,” he told them.
For more information about HealthSouth, visit www.nittanyvalleyrehab.com, or call 814-359-3421.