Left to right: Dena Wendli, occupational therapist assistant; Robert Vaughn; and David Morton, physical therapist assistant

When Robert Vaughn contracted bacterial pneumonia, the disease left him in need of almost total care.


Today, he is back to independence, thanks to his rehab stay at Life Care Center of Tullahoma, Tennessee.


When Vaughn arrived at the skilled nursing and rehabilitation center on May 29, 2018, he was unable to walk, stand, bathe, get dressed or even roll over in bed without total assistance. He needed extensive help for his daily hygiene tasks and even needed some help to feed himself. His cognition was also adversely affected by the pneumonia.


Speech therapy addressed Vaughn’s thinking skills and helped him get back to himself mentally, as well as helping him swallow better using VitalStim® electrical stimulation therapy. Occupational therapy addressed his self-care skills and arm and hand strength. Physical therapy worked on his mobility, core and lower-body strength, range of motion and balance, eventually helping him be able to stand, transfer from one surface to another and walk again. Therapists used manual therapy to help increase his mobility.


“Mr. Vaughn was super motivated to get better and applied himself 100 percent,” said David Morton, physical therapist assistant.    


“I was a physical basket case coming in and was able to walk out,” said Vaughn. “The staff is more than staff there. They became my friends. I had mixed feelings about leaving to go home. Not a day goes by that I do not think about my stay there and the nice people I met.”


Vaughn went home on Sept. 4.