Left to right: Jim Markovich, occupational therapist; Judith Spielburg; Shirla Kreilich, physical therapist assistant; and Molly Dunsworth, assistant director of rehab

When Judith Spielburg developed sepsis in an intraspinal abscess, she needed rehabilitation before she could return home.


On Dec. 21, 2017, Spielburg came to The Westchester House in Chesterfield, Missouri, for physical, occupational and speech therapies. She needed maximum assistance for bathing and getting dressed and some assistance with grooming and mobility. Her cognition was also suffering from the infection.


“When I first came, I was in tremendous pain and could not do anything for myself,” said Spielburg. “I was unable to sit up, stand or walk.”


Spielburg worked with her therapists five days a week to recover as much independence as possible. Speech therapists helped her with cognitive exercises, while occupational therapists retrained her in how to take care of herself. Physical therapists worked with her on strengthening and therapeutic exercises. They used electrical stimulation for pain management and the NuStep® exercise machine to allow her to exercise her arms, legs and core from a seated position.


“Judy demonstrated determination with a strong work ethic,” said Molly Dunsworth, assistant director of rehab. “She was always ready to go.”


“Now I’m looking forward to going home and taking care of myself,” said Spielburg. “I can sit, stand and walk without any pain. My therapists were fantastic. They worked with me and tailored a program specifically for me. My doctor said I would have to learn to live with the pain. We didn’t accept that for an answer, and I am now virtually pain-free.”


Spielburg returned home independently on Feb. 17, 2018.