ne of the most shattering aspects of declining health is losing the ability to do even the most simple things by yourself. Listening to music when the urge hits, talking on the phone and logging onto Facebook are things most of us take for granted. Here’s a story of hope from wymt.com outlining how technology is being used to help patients get more power and control over their environment…
ROCKCASTLE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) — For years, Kentucky’s rural hospitals have struggled to keep their doors open, but a hospital in Mount Vernon is setting itself apart.
People across the country are sending their loved ones to Rockcastle Regional Hospital’s Respiratory Care Center.
“I can honestly say, I wouldn’t want her in another facility,” said Tonya Fryman, whose mother is being treated at the facility.
It is one of the only places in Kentucky where the sole focus is on providing long-term care to ventilator-dependent patients.
“We’re sort of a destination for ventilator care just because we do such a good job weaning people,” said John Lambert, Rockcastle Regional Hospital’s Director of Development. “We’ve had patients here from 26 different states.”
In the last year, the hospital has looked to technology to improve the quality of life for the patients staying there. For some of them, they are unable to move making it hard for them to control their environment.
Teddy Fulton was in a trampoline accident when he was only 16. He’s been at Rockcastle Regional for a decade but recently, he got a new addition to his room.
Fulton is one of 25 patients to receive a Google Home device. He uses it to listen to music, which is one of his favorite things.
“I had an iPod and people had to come turn the stations for me and stuff, but when I got the Google Home, I can play the music I want to … turn to any song I want to,” Fulton said.
Across the hall from Fulton, is Joe Pursiful. He’s been staying at the facility for two years now as he battles Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).
Pursiful has lost his ability to speak, but not his voice. Thanks to donations from Team Gleason, an organization started by former New Orleans Saints player Steve Gleason, Pursiful is able to communicate through a Tobii device, which speaks for him. It tracks eye movement allowing him to type sentences, describes wants and needs, and also have a little fun. He is able to get on Facebook to talk with friends and family and also look for model cars on Craigslist.
“Since receiving my device I have gotten back a little bit of freedom,” Pursiful said. “I can still communicate with people and let them know what I need. I just do it a little different.”
Through technology, patients who may never recover are given a sense of hope and healing.
“It’s almost like, there’s not a biological cure but there’s a technological cure,” Lambert said.
In the future, the hospital hopes to make it so patients can control their lights and temperature on their own.
Rockcastle Regional has set up a “Miracle Fund” that is used to make purchases for their patients in the Respiratory Care Center. If you would like to donate, you can click here.
The concept of technological cures where no biological fixes exist gives patients hope and a chance at having some level of normalcy.
thumbnails courtesy of wymt.com
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