Sharon Damron, of Pikeville, was left unable to walk after a serious illness nearly ended her life last Christmas. She made a miraculous recovery thanks to the Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital.

Damron was transferred to the PMC inpatient rehab floor for physical therapy and to regain her mobility, after being treated at a long-term care facility in Lexington.

Damron had been feeling ill for some time, but the busyness of Christmas shopping, holiday baking and visiting her family over the Christmas season, somehow took priority over getting checked out. It wasn’t until her mother brought her some soup one evening that she finally felt bad enough and agreed to go to the doctor the next day. Damron sat down in a chair and that is the last thing she remembers.

“Before my mother left, I passed out,” said Damron. “Mom called for help to get me in the vehicle to be transported to the emergency room at PMC.”

Damron was so much sicker than she believed. After a few tests, she was diagnosed with flu, pneumonia and septic shock. She remained unconscious for 14 days in PMC intensive care unit (ICU).

“My condition was so very critical that I coded in ICU and they brought me back,” stated Damron. “Those ICU nurses refused to give up on me and they worked on me until I was stable again.”
Because PMC is not a long-term care facility, Damron was transferred to a facility in Lexington to continue her recovery. However, she wanted to return to PMC for physical therapy to make it easier on her 90 year-old mother. The constant travel to Lexington to visit her was taking its toll on the family.

When Damron was admitted to PMC for physical therapy, Sankar Chirumamilla, MD, was the physician in charge of her care.

“Ms. Damron was very weak when she came in. She was walking about 30 feet with a lot of help. She was hardworking and determined to go home with little to no assistance,” explained Dr. Chirumamilla. “With the help of our rehabilitation team including physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech language pathologists, staff nurses, respiratory therapists, social workers and case managers we were able to systematically get her where she could function with no physical help. She has great family support and, over all, she is the prime example of what an acute rehabilitation program can do.”

Damron is so appreciative of all the staff who cared for her and very pleased with the service she received.

“The PMC staff tried in every way to do what I needed,” stated Damron. “The people here care enough to try and they don’t give up on you. This place has every advancement, but still has that family feel.”

Within two weeks of physical therapy, Damron was able to leave PMC on her own feet, after being carried in months earlier.

“I can walk again!” Damron exclaimed. “The difference here is care shown by the employees. They try so hard to keep you encouraged and they do a great job!”

Damron was released with instructions to continue her exercises at home to keep up her strength and maintain her progress.

“You will get the best care at PMC. A friend said I would be better off in Lexington, but I wasn’t,” said Damron. “I couldn’t have gotten better care anywhere.”

For more information about the PMC Inpatient Rehabilitation Hospital, please call 606-218-1050.