Jerry Zaplinty

Losing your independence due to injury is never easy. That has been particularly true for 92-year-old Jerry Zaplinty. Jerry is a true family man, married 60 years with two children and two grandchildren. Jerry definitely enjoyed keeping busy! Though Jerry noticed that his mobility and balance seemed off, he ignored the signals his body was sending him. After enough time disregarding his symptoms and not utilizing adaptive equipment like a walker, Jerry found himself in the hospital.

After extensive testing, Jerry was diagnosed with subdural hematoma, a type of bleeding that occurs within the skull but outside the brain tissue. Working through a therapy program at another facility, he realized that it was not a good fit and was looking for more. He was referred to the Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Indiana by a family member. Jerry connected with Dr. Blendonohy, the medical director at RHNI, who explained how the rehabilitation process worked.

Jerry’s motivation comes from being able to gain back his independence, like talking and walking freely, and getting back to handling things around the house like finances, cleaning, and opening mail. He is very appreciative of RHNI’s generosity and the support from staff members including Rachel, Louie, Tiffany, and Chris who went above and beyond to support his recovery. He felt valued that the hospital CEO, John Day, took the time to get to know him. “He gave a firm handshake,” he noted.

Jerry also shared how special the staff made his last day. “The ‘Priority One’ was really touching,” he said. During a “Priority One,” all available staff line the hallway and clap for a patient as they discharge from the hospital on their last day.

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