Case Study: Mary


Mary had just returned to work in a Nursing Home after a hip operation when her whole life changed forever.  Whilst standing one day, Mary collapsed to the floor leaving her in agonising pain.

Working as nurse for over 40 years, Mary had been taking pain killers for back pain not realising she had  spinal stenosis (when the space around the spinal cord narrows causing pain and discomfort) she’d had no warning that her spine had become so weak. She was taken initially to her local distric general hospital but was transferred to a specialist centre to receive spinal surgery. Mary spent five weeks on an acute ward before being transferred to an acute rehabilitation unit but was still unable to walk 12 weeks later.

It was then that Mary was transferred to one of the Rehabilitation Network's Spoke Units, to continue her journey to regain independence. The rehabilitation unit work with people who have suffered traumatic injuries or illnesses. The unit provides inpatient and outpatient therapy and offers high quality personalised rehabilitation. The unit has a specialist multidisciplinary team including rehabilitation consultant, nursing staff, physiotherapist, occupational therapist, speech and language therapist, psychologist, neuro- psychiatrist and dieticians.

Mary has spent over three months working with the team of highly specialised rehabilitation staff learning to walk and do everyday tasks like dressing, bathing and moving around the home. She has had one-to-one intensive therapy on a daily basis, working with psychologists to help with the mental strain of such a life transforming illness and taking part in group sessions with fellow patients to reintroduce her to everyday life.

Mary said: “When I was admitted to the rehabilitation unit it was a terrifying time. I couldn’t walk, and was worried that I would never regain my independence. The staff at the unit have been tremendous and I cannot thank them enough for the time and the care they have given me. The level of support I have received is outstanding and I’m enormously grateful to all of the staff from the therapists, doctors, nurses, catering staff and everyone at the unit who has helped me through an extremely traumatic time in my life.”

Mary also found that fellow patients were very supportive and helped each other through difficult times forming new lifelong friendships.

If you would like your rehabilitation story to be included on this page please contact the Communications Department at The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust on or 0151 529 4043.