It was the 4th of July. Chores were to a point where they could be left for a while and picking up sweet corn for supper was the perfect excuse to take a ride on the Goldwing. The deer that jumped out on their way home was the game changer to a wonderful afternoon for Randy and Diane Puttkamer.
As the motorcycle going 55 mph crashed, Randy strategically tried to cushion Diane’s fall by having her land on him. In the process, he sustained multiple fractures that required surgery. His lower right leg needed reassembly and his lung was deflated, plus both clavicles were broken, as were seven of his ribs. Diane experienced trauma to her arm. After 5 days at the UW Hospital, the Puttkamers came to Maplewood to receive extensive individualized rehabilitation and skilled care.
When Randy arrived at Maplewood he could not put weight on his right leg and needed help with all functions of mobility such as transfers and ambulation. Surgeons predicted that he would need skilled assistance for at least 4 months and in the end his gait would be affected. Randy was a well-motivated individual with a positive attitude who worked through intense pain. At Maplewood, Randy had the benefit of receiving therapy 5 days a week, 2 times a day for 3 hours. Besides exercises to improve range-of-motion, strengthening and conditioning as well as facilitate activities of daily living, he benefited from the use of other modalities found at Maplewood. Electrical stimulation and diathermy are two examples of specialized modalities used to manage pain. Reduced pain allowed him to be more mobile and build strength. He made a remarkable recovery and was able to go home two months earlier than anticipated. Randy does not need any assistive devices to walk other than a boot for healing purposes. His surgeons are flabbergasted at how far and fast progress has been made.
Diane also had rigorous therapy and has made great strides in her recovery. Fourteen years ago, she was in a car accident which left her with residual effects. Remarkably, through Maplewood’s rehabilitation, she is now able to use her arms in ways she had previously been unable to. Due to the injuries sustained to her right arm, she learned to use her left hard as she performs daily activities such as hanging laundry and cooking.
September 5, 2015 was a momentous day, as Diane and Randy were able to return home. They proudly tell others that Maplewood is not only for older people. It’s a place for younger people who want to get back to their life. “From housekeeping to the top administration, everyone cares and made us feel special. The facility is clean, staff is courteous and knowledgeable, therapy is individualized with the intention to get us back home, and the atmosphere is enjoyable. Maplewood made a tragic thing, very workable and though it is tough to say, an enjoyable experience. God not only was watching over us that day, but also gave us the skilled people from Maplewood to continue our journey.”