Only a month after opening (on June 12, 2018), the first freestanding rehabilitation hospital in Iowa has its first success story.

Michael Currier, 75, a veteran university professor with three doctoral degrees, came to Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital after several frustrating months of re-hospitalizations.

“No one could figure out what was wrong,” Currier says. For months he suffered from shortness of breath, blood clots, neuro gait and walking issues. “My doctor asked if I’d like to be a guinea pig as a first patient at a new rehab hospital and I said, ‘Sure!’”

A few days later on June 12, Currier was admitted to Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital. “I went in on the very first Tuesday they were in business and left on a Saturday. I walked out feeling 10 years younger,” Currier says.

During his stay at Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, Currier underwent occupational, physical and respiratory therapies. He learned new skills, such as how to get in and out of a car correctly. (“I had been doing it wrong!” Currier exclaims). His gait and balance improved, and his breathing improved tremendously.

“The therapy team was excellent. They helped me improve,” he says. “The respiratory therapist was my best friend there. He made all the difference in the world.”

Currier’s Functional Improvement Measure (FIM) score improved by 26 points in five days of treatment at Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital, from 89 on admission to 115 at discharge – and the progress has lasted. Now, almost a month later, Currier is able to climb stairs, empty the garbage and walk the mall, which he couldn’t do before coming to Mercy. He says he has a lot of endurance these days and wants to use his newfound strength to help out at the hospital that helped him.

“I’ve told everybody I know about how good that place is. They did everything right,” Currier says. “We’ve seen a lot of doctors since and I’ve told them all, ‘You need to know about it!’. I feel a very strong dedication to the whole enterprise. I’d like to go back to the hospital and organize a volunteer program.”

Currier continues to maintain his strength and function today with outpatient physical therapy twice a week. He’s grateful for all Mercy Rehabilitation Hospital did to help him regain his strength.

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Des Moines, Iowa 50314

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