Left to right: Melissa Moody, occupational therapist assistant; Lonnie Cook; and Lisa Reynolds, physical therapist assistant

When Lonnie Cook broke his left leg in a fall, he chose to come to Life Care Center of Banner Elk, North Carolina, to do his rehabilitation.


When he arrived on June 6, 2018, Cook was unable to walk, stand or wheel himself in a wheelchair. He needed extensive assistance with bed mobility, transfers from one surface to another, bathing and dressing, and he needed moderate assistance with sitting balance.


Physical therapists worked with Cook seven days a week, helping him master the skills of rolling from side to side. Soon he was able to sit up, then stand up, walk and practice balance. They also helped him increase the range of motion in his left knee and foot.


Five days a week, the occupational therapy team worked with Cook on his activities of daily living, such as dressing, bathing, grooming and cooking.


“The best thing is I can move from sitting to standing by myself, and I needed help before,” said Cook. “I can walk more than 200 feet with my walker. Therapy has taught me techniques on how to move better, and I have strengthened my arms and legs so I can function better. They have a good mix of empathy and encouragement, with drive and demand.”


The hard work paid off. Cook is independent in his bed mobility and sitting balance and is at a supervision level for walking, transfers, standing and dressing. He returned home on Sept. 5, with help for meals and housekeeping, and he will continue physical therapy with home health.