Thomas H.

The best words to describe Thomas would be optimistic and fortunate. He is a very devoted man, both as a father and in his career. He dedicated nearly his entire life to working in the pistachio farming business.

While at work one day, Thomas dropped motor oil on his shoe. It burned through and eventually got to his foot. At first, it didn’t seem like a big deal. The burn site was fairly small and only caused mild pain and irritation. To be safe, he thought it would be best to have a doctor take a look.

Thomas’s doctor explained that his burn site had the potential to turn into a serious infection. With this concern looming, Thomas agreed to a procedure. This involved directly scraping and cleaning the wound site. He endured the discomfort as his doctor cleaned the wound, scraping upwards of six times.

Shortly after returning home from the treatment, Thomas quickly started developing an infection on his foot. The small burn turned into multiple infection sites which spread to his leg. His symptoms were also accompanied by an alarming smell.

After realizing that something was very wrong, Thomas had a friend rush him to the emergency department at Clovis Community Medical Center. He was thankful that he took quick action and didn’t hesitate. He explained, “They said I was very close to death.”

The harsh reality set in as his physicians explained that they would have to complete an above-the-knee amputation. Thomas stated, “I told them to just take it. It’s a small price to pay for saving my life.” The surgery went well and Thomas started his journey to recovery.

Thomas began to plan his discharge which included a referral to San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital for physical and occupational therapy. He heard that SJVRH provided specialized rehabilitation programs that address unique challenges, like the life-altering amputation that he experienced.

Without hesitation, Thomas agreed to an inpatient rehabilitation stay at SJVRH. “I know enough to know when I need an expert to guide me down the right path,” he said. He felt confident that he was “in good hands.”

As Thomas expected, he learned many important skills to care for himself at home. He made great progress in the inpatient program and looked forward to the next phase of his recovery. Excited to learn about the SJVRH outpatient therapy program, Thomas knew this would help him to achieve his goals. He also learned about the amputee support group that meets monthly at the hospital.

Prepared with the knowledge and skills he learned at SJVRH, Thomas returned home. He looks forward to continuing his road to recovery in outpatient therapy and continues to focus on getting back to better.