Kevin DeVoy’s Journey to Recover, Regain, & Return Home

In March of this year, Kevin DeVoy had open heart surgery in Kansas City. After his surgery, he developed atrial fibrillation (Afib) and contracted Type A Influenza as well as double pneumonia. These complications turned Kevin’s recovery into a 4-week stay at the hospital.

As a past President of the Board of Directors for Pershing Health System, Kevin knew about the Swing Bed program at PHS, but he wasn’t entirely sure of how it worked. He kept thinking about this program as he continued to ask when he could go home – “home” meaning back to Brookfield. Kevin realized he was not able to return to his home as he couldn’t walk and was terribly weak. His family looked into the PHS Swing Bed program and discovered it was truly the right fit for Kevin’s journey in getting him back to his home.

“Going to the PHS Swing Bed program was going to be easier on everyone, including my wife, Brenda. She appreciated being able to be at home and come to visit me throughout the day,” Kevin explained. Brenda agreed. “Being back in Brookfield made it easier for friends and family to visit him. He had around 4 to 5 people stop each day!”

Kevin stated, “The night I arrived at PHS, I was very impressed. They knew I hadn’t been able to eat much so everyone jumped into action and got me something to eat. The very next day, the speech pathologist came in to do a swallow test. Soon after that, I was on a real food diet!” Kevin exclaimed, “The food was amazing. I loved it! My favorite was the hot roast beef sandwiches!”

When asked about the care he received at PHS, Kevin stated, “The quality of care was so wonderful! Dr. Kumar was on staff when I arrived at the hospital, and he was great. My records were thoroughly reviewed, my questions were answered, and goals were made for my journey to return home. I had a lot of work to do, but with the respiratory, occupational, and physical therapy departments working with me each day, I was able to return home much quicker.”

Kevin also stated that he was impressed with the nursing staff. “They were great listeners and paid close attention to what I needed and addressed it immediately,” Kevin stated. “One night I complained that my hand was hurting, and the next morning Kate from the OT department was there with exercises for me to do” he added. “What made my stay very special for me is that I recognized so many faces. They treated me like a friend. One day, I was feeling gloomy, and I had so many people pop their heads into my room with big smiles to cheer me up. It felt so good to be back in Brookfield. It was like coming home to family,” he stated.

Kate Gaudet, OT stated, “When Kevin was first admitted to our swing bed program, he was unable to complete even the simplest self-care tasks without becoming extremely fatigued. After a few short weeks in our intensive therapy program, Kevin showed amazing progress towards his overall functional independence, and was discharged to go home with the ability to perform all tasks for himself. Kevin showed significant improvements in his strength, endurance, and independence, which helped him regain the confidence needed to safely discharge home.”

Heather Wood, BSW, PHS Swing Bed coordinator explains, “The PHS Swing Bed program is for people that need a little more time to recover before going home after a surgery or injury. The individual no longer requires acute hospital care so our program allows the patient more time to recover.  They can “swing” from acute hospital care yet have skilled nursing and rehabilitation care needed to recover and gain the strength to return home. Since everyone is unique, treatment plans are tailored to each patient’s needs and recovery goals. Whatever a patient’s individual needs may be, the staff at Pershing Health System is here to help take that positive step back to good health!”

Kevin shared, “Overall, I couldn’t have been happier with my experience in the swing bed program at PHS. It felt like I was in the hands of family, and I could see how much they cared for me, everyone from the housekeeping to the nursing staff. I got better because of the way each department cared for me. Even having Pastor Joe Smith come and give communion each Wednesday was wonderful. The fact that I was back home in Brookfield with family while recovering and getting strong enough to go home was such a blessing!”