Bill Foronjy came to Bellhaven in May following a spinal surgery that left him paralyzed from the waist down and unable to walk. Following his hospitalization, he was sent to an acute rehab and later, a skilled nursing facility (not unlike Bellhaven) to regain his strength and get back on his feet.
Mr. Foronjy had a very important goal – to walk his daughter, Nicole, down the aisle for her October wedding.
When he was told that this might not happen, and in fact, he might never walk again, Mr. Foronjy started researching other facilities and their rehabilitation programs. When he found Bellhaven, he also found out about the ‘LiteGait’
equipment used by our rehabilitation department.
LiteGait is an overhead frame and suspension system which therapists can use to adjust how much support a patient receives while standing and stepping. It can be used over a treadmill or on a floor while waling and, when needed, the therapist has the ability to help guide the patient’s legs or feet, and, for Mr. Foronjy, it turned out to be just what he needed!
Bill and his wife, Diane, called the Admissions Department at Bellhaven and started the process to transfer to our facility. Almost immediately after admission, Bill stated that “the real awakening happened”. Our Physical Therapy team quickly
evaluated him and developed an intensive rehab program; a bit daunted by the overwhelming job ahead of him, Bill was encouraged by the staff across all departments. His therapist, Bami, wisely reminded him, “Do not let other people put limitations on your dreams – you can do anything you put your mind to”.
Bill began to believe in his own strength, and with the constant support of the staff and his family, he regained his self-confidence – literally – one step at a time!
Mr. Foronjy spent a lot of his time in the rehab gym working with Physical Therapist, Rich. Like Bill, Rich is a former Marine. Their similar backgrounds made Bill try harder to reach the ever-rising goals that Rich set for him, and every day, improving on what had been accomplished the day before.
By August, Bill was walking with a walker and gaining control of his lower body. Therapist Diane spent hours every day, walking with Bill up and down the hallway outside the gym, simulating the ultimate goal – walking down the aisle with Nicole. Every day, Bill was getting closer and closer to his dream.
And just like that, the big day arrived! Rich painted Bill’s walker black to match his tux – and later met up with Bill and his daughter at the church to make sure it all went according to plan – which it did! With big, big smiles and tears of joy, Bill walked Nicole down the aisle on her wedding day! He went on to celebrate with the entire family.
And it wasn’t long after that, when Bill was headed home. Before he left, there was a celebration in the gym. Bill spoke lovingly about his many new friends at Bellhaven. He had a story for each one of them and how each person helped him on his journey and the staff at Bellhaven are so proud to have been a part of Bill’s success