Left to right: Victoria Ogundipe, director of rehab; Grace Real, occupational therapist; Walter Barthuly and his wife, Bonita; and Romel Salcedo, physical therapist assistant

After falling and breaking his left arm and pelvis, Walter Barthuly, a compressor mechanic and marriage counselor at his church, came to La Habra Convalescent Hospital in La Habra, California, for rehabilitation.


When he arrived on May 22, 2018, Barthuly, 69, was unable to walk, stand, get in and out of bed, wheel himself in a wheelchair or do many of the daily tasks many of us take for granted, such as grooming and bathing. He needed extensive assistance to get dressed and moderate assistance for sitting balance.


Five days a week, Barthuly worked with physical and occupational therapists to help regain his independence. The PT team helped him with bed mobility exercises, transfer training and gait re-education, including teaching him to walk again on even and uneven surfaces and manage stairs. He eventually progressed from using a front-wheel walker to using a cane.


The OT team helped Barthuly relearn his activities of daily living, including simulating a shower scenario and getting dressed.


Faith also played a role in Barthuly’s recovery.


“Mr. Barthuly is very spiritual and held on to God’s promises throughout his rehabilitation period,” said Victoria Orgundipe, director of rehab.


“My experience here has been excellent,” said Barthuly. “My therapists were well trained and caring. They did a fine job working with me and encouraging me in my recovery. I feel like the staff here are part of my family.”


Barthuly returned home to his wife on June 21. He was able to balance better and take care of his grooming on his own, and he only needs supervision for standing, walking, bathing and dressing.