Left to right: Shirla Kreilich, physical therapist assistant; Sharon Rahoy; Abby Cracchiolo, speech therapist; and Lina Palazzolo, occupational therapist assistant

Sharon Rahoy came to The Westchester House on June 14, 2018, unable to walk and on a feeding tube because of an E. coli infection that went septic.


Now, Rahoy is mobile again and able to eat and drink normally.


Therapy at the skilled nursing and rehab center in Chesterfield, Missouri, made the difference.


Physical therapists worked with Rahoy on exercises to strengthen her weakened muscles and get her up and moving again. With their help, she was able to go from needing total assistance with walking, bed mobility, standing and getting in and out of bed to needing supervision for standing and bed mobility and minimal assistance with walking and transfers.


Occupational therapists put their expertise to use in helping Rahoy with her activities of daily living. At first, she needed total assistance to bathe and get dressed, and she needed moderate assistance with hygiene tasks. OT retrained her on these skills, and she now only requires supervision with hygiene and dressing and moderate assistance with bathing.


In speech therapy, Rahoy improved her cognitive function and voice and relearned how to swallow. The speech therapists used laryngeal exercises to strengthen her swallowing muscles so she could tolerate food and liquids without the danger of choking. She is now able to eat a mechanical-soft diet (such as yogurt, cooked ground meats and cooked soft vegetables).


“Sharon worked hard in therapy, completing her laryngeal exercises,” said Abby Cracchiolo, speech therapist. “She was always fun to work with and was willing to do anything.”


“Therapy was very supportive to put up with my weird sense of humor,” said Rahoy. “They worked on my swallowing, memory, brushing my teeth, sitting, dressing, leg strength and balance – which I needed a lot of help with. The nurses were always there for me, too.”


Rahoy returned home on Sept. 7.