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Helping You Get Back Up

  • Author: John Martin
  • Date Submitted: Jul 14, 2022
  • Category: Physical Therapy

Helping You Get Back Up

Kaweah Health Rehabilitation Hospital will always be there for you.

John Martin has had an unusual path on his journey to better health. And while you may find an illogical sense of gratitude throughout his story, John is quick to encourage others to find hope and peace regardless of the challenges they face.

John remembers vividly the evening at the Visalia Convention Center where his four-year-old granddaughter was performing at a dance recital. He was determined not to miss this important event in her life. As he walked across the parking lot, he had
to stop to catch his breath — the result of his weight increasing to more than 300 pounds. As he made his way toward the doors, he tripped and fell, crushing his hip and breaking his femur. It took six paramedics to pick him up.

John was taken immediately to Kaweah Health’s emergency department, where he underwent surgery and spent eight days recuperating. Through it all, he maintained his outlook of gratitude, noting “The Lord didn’t make me fall, but he used the fall to help me get my health better. I never gave up.” After his release, John spent four months working with Kaweah Health Physical Therapist Jade Asuncion. “When John arrived for his first physical therapy, he was in a wheelchair and lived with his son. He really wanted to get back on his feet and regain his independence,” Jade says. “Eventually, he started walking again and driving himself to appointments, and now he is living on his own again.”

As part of his physical therapy, John began a new exercise routine and has lost 86 pounds to date. He is proud to note that he has kept the weight off, and currently his only health challenges are cholesterol and blood sugar levels. But there were more surprises along the way.

Shortly after his fall, John developed a heart condition that Kusai Aziz, MD, interventional cardiologist, repaired through a cardiac balloon procedure. Thanks to the care John received in the hospital and at Kaweah Health Rehabilitation Hospital (formerly known as Cypress Rehab), John’s heart is now healthy. But even more unknown health issues loomed.

Following John’s treatment came a dizzy spell that became a fall, and then a five-day stay at Kaweah Health Medical Center, where the staff discovered he was dehydrated, his blood pressure was high, and his kidneys were on the verge of shutting down. After leaving the hospital, it was back to Kaweah Health Rehabilitation Hospital for recovery. Through it all, John didn’t give up, thanks to his supportive hospital staff and his very close friends.

“I love the people at Kaweah Health Rehab. They really helped me. They worked with me, helped me get in and out of the wheelchair, and encouraged me when I was afraid of falling. My therapist understood my fear, and she was so reassuring.” Physical Therapist Courtney Williams, who worked with John, understands, “A fall like that can be challenging to recover from. It’s difficult to balance, and patients are always scared to put weight on it as they are working to regain their endurance and confidence”

John has learned a lot about himself as a result of his challenges. “The times I had to go to rehab made me realize I can do more things on my own. And through it all, I had the sweetest nurses and therapists I could have ever met,” John recalls. “I can’t praise Kaweah Health enough.” John’s physical therapists were equally as grateful. “John was very easy to work with. He set his goals and worked really hard during his therapy sessions and at home to reach them,” remembers Jade. “And he always told us how much he appreciated the work we did.”

Throughout his challenges, John was also able to utilize the services of Kaweah Health Home Health, which provided therapy, helped him to get up, and helped him to become mobile again. “Looking back, I think about how fortunate I am to be alive,” John realizes. “All of Kaweah Health’s nurses and home health staff were great. Today, I’m setting goals to take better care of my health so I can avoid the heart disease that took my dad, brother, and cousin. I want to see my grandkids grow up.”

Kaweah Health Rehabilitation Hospital offers many types of care including

  • Cardiac rehabilitation
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Brain injuries
  • Stroke
  • Joint replacement
  • Parkinson’s disease

For a complete list of programs available at Rehabilitation Services visit