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Holly Wheeler

There was two feet of snow on the ground when Holly Wheeler got her first glance out her window overlooking Woodridge’s inner courtyard. Family, friends and staff helped keep her spirits high by decorating the window with markers brought in by her daughter.

Retired schoolteacher Holly Wheeler, from Waits River, VT spent six weeks at what she referred to as “Woodridge Resort.” Holly had been living an active, independent life when a severe case of gout rendered her unable to walk and reliant on oxygen. When she arrived at Woodridge, she was only able to walk 20 feet using a walker, but by the day she was ready to leave she walked 675 feet with a cane and no oxygen.

According to Holly, her success was the result of coordinated care by her physical and occupational therapists, rheumatologist, physician and nurses. In addition to getting the medical attention and therapy her condition required, they also gave her the skills she needed to go home and live a healthier life and hopefully prevent a reoccurrence. “They taught me what I needed to know about special diets for diabetes and gout, and also brainstormed ideas on how I could keep walking through mud season,” said Holly, who also lost 43 pounds during her stay.

Despite having to deal with this very painful condition, Holly was extremely grateful for her experience at Woodridge. “I could not have asked for a more fantastic, helpful and caring staff. From the therapists to the housekeepers, they all came into my room each day like a ray of sunshine.”

Holly, all smiles herself, is looking forward to going home and spending time with her grandchildren and resuming her activities with her community. ““The staff at Woodridge really helped me gain a much better outlook on life and about what’s possible.” And if staff get their way, it is quite possible that Holly will be returning to Woodridge, but this time as a volunteer.