Published on August 28, 2018

physical therapy

Teamwork Helps Potomac Man Get Back to Health


Judy Morris rushed to call 911 one morning this past January when she found her husband of 54 years, Martin, unable to walk and talk. After arriving at a local hospital, the Potomac couple learned Martin was suffering from a brain bleed and stroke due to complications from a serious car accident a month earlier.

After a few weeks in the hospital, Martin was stabilized, but he still couldn’t walk. In fact, he couldn’t write or take care of himself in basic ways. Martin and Judy knew they needed to find quality rehabilitation. Both friends and family recommended Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation.


“Like many people who have suffered a stroke, Martin struggled with activities of daily living,” said Terrence Sheehan, MD, chief medical officer at Adventist HealthCare Rehabilitation in Rockville. “Our goal was to help him return to the active and independent life he once enjoyed.”

Adventist Rehabilitation is accredited by The Joint Commission and is one of only two rehabilitation facilities in a five-state region to earn the distinguished Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) accreditation in four major specialties: amputation, brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke.

Martin recovered at the rehabilitation hospital’s inpatient unit with a personalized care plan that included 24-hour specialized nursing care and support from his multidisciplinary team, led by Dr. Sheehan. Martin also participated in at least 15 hours of active therapy each week, including physical, occupational and speech therapy.

“During our occupational therapy sessions, we often focused on Martin’s problem-solving, attention to detail, concentration and visual scanning,” explained Larry Issadore, occupational therapist and inpatient therapy manager.

Judy said the rehabilitation team went beyond caring for Martin physically.

“During his stay, his mother passed away. Everyone who came in contact with him –from the janitorial staff to the nurses and therapists – came in to give him a hug and their condolences.”


After three weeks of intensive therapy, Martin returned home. The Morrises chose to continue his rehabilitative care with Adventist HealthCare’s Home Health division, which continued physical, occupational and speech therapy, plus provided nursing care.

“As a care team, we were constantly communicating about Martin and his care,” said Ansu Chacko, physical therapist at Adventist Home Health and one of several team members who helped Martin and Judy. “We had weekly meetings, as well as ongoing emails and phone calls throughout the week, to collaborate on how to best help Martin achieve his goals.”

The Home Health division, part of Adventist HealthCare Home Care Services, is one of the leading home health agencies in the nation for quality care. For seven consecutive years, it has been named a Top Agency of HomeCare Elite®.

“When I visited Martin and his wife, Judy, I taught them about medication management, disease management and changes they can make in their lifestyle to help further Martin’s recovery,” said Morris Bell, licensed nurse at Adventist Home Health. “After such a life-changing event, it’s important that we ensure both our patients and their daily caregiver understand what each medication is, when to take it, potential side effects and the dosage.”


After less than two months of post-acute care with the Adventist HealthCare team, Martin was able to do many of the things he hadn’t been able to do since that January morning, including walk, write, drive and take care of himself independently.

“Your staff saved my husband’s life,” Judy said. “Now we can focus on making memories with our children and grandchildren.”

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