Left to right: Bottney Wilson, physical therapist; Billy Cole; and Jennifer Crawford, occupational therapist

Billy Cole was independent at home until he experienced exacerbations of his kidney disease, congestive heart failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.


When he was released from the hospital, Cole was very weak. He came to Life Care Center of Elizabethton, Tennessee, for rehabilitation on June 29, 2017.


When Cole arrived, he was unable to wheel himself in his wheelchair, and he needed extensive assistance to stand, walk and get dressed. He needed moderate assistance to bathe and roll over in bed, and he needed minimal assistance to take care of his daily grooming and transfer from one surface to another.


Physical and occupational therapists worked with Cole on strengthening exercises and energy conservation. They used the NuStep® and Omnicycle exercise machines to work his muscles and increase his endurance.


“His big challenge besides weakness was being short of breath due to his COPD, such that he could not even carry out an activity for more than two to three minutes at the beginning,” said Kaveri Pant, director of rehabilitation services. “Toward the end, he was standing independently and carrying out tasks for 10-15 minutes and also walking with his walker for 10-15 minutes without breaks.”


Cole met his goals of regaining independence in all areas.


“Billy was very determined and, in about four weeks, made tremendous progress and drove himself home on Aug. 7!” Pant added.


“I was very happy with my rehab and glad to be able to go home stronger,” Cole said.