Shortly after a spinal fusion, Harold Sprawls was doing well and optimistic the surgery would cure his back problems. However, about a week later in August 2019, “I knew something wasn’t right,” he recalled. Harold had developed MRSA at the surgical site, which led to complications with the spinal fusion and multiple surgeries. He was in the hospital for months from August 2019 until December 2019 and could no longer stand or walk.
When he arrived at Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Cypress, Harold couldn’t even move around in his bed and needed two to three people to help him out of bed via a sliding board. “I didn’t have strength in my legs to stand at all,” he said. “I wasn’t able to do anything of myself, not even help to dress myself each morning. I needed help for anything and everything.” From December 2019 to January 2021, Harold had four stays at Encompass Health Cypress; each time, his goal was to get stronger, so he could live independently again.
During his earlier stays, his therapists had him on the parallel bars to help balance him and improve his standing tolerance. The NuStep was used to build strength in his legs. Then, they move to the Auto Ambulator and Lite Gait to teach Harold how to walk again. By August 2020, Harold was finally starting to stand and walk again.
“Harold is the definition of perseverance,” said Brittany Leon, his physical therapist. “Every day he would come to therapy showing me something new he had accomplished. His perseverance and hard work throughout his 18-month therapy journey has helped him progress from needed three people to assist him out of bed to being able to walk with his walker without assistance.”
Harold said the journey to recovery is never over, and change didn’t happen overnight, but when he left Encompass Health Cypress in January, he was standing and walking over 150 feet with the assistance of a walker. After multiple hospital stays, Harold said the best advice he can give others recovering from a life-changing illness or injury is to “choose your facility wisely.”
“I have been at multiple other facilities, but nothing compares to the team at Encompass Health Cypress,” he said. “I can’t name everyone, but everyone at Encompass Health Cypress has been great and helped me in my journey. Follow the plan that the therapists have because they know what they are doing, and they are good. Eyeball that prize at the end.”