Our journey to find a facility for Mom started on January 17, 2010. For a whole year, we were in and out of hospitals and Long Term Acute Care facilities. Eventually, she was placed in a facility in Milwaukee. A nurse, learning that we were not from the Milwaukee area and had to commute back and forth helped us discover that Northwinds Vent in Wausau, Wisconsin had recently opened. Cautiously optimistic — and hoping for a facility closer to home — we immediately took a took of Northwinds.
Julie Lucko helped us set up the tour. We had so many questions before the tour, and she was always friendly and helpful — always willing to answer our questions or find someone who could. The day the tour arrived, Kyle Carr and staff from the vent unit met with us. They were all very helpful, friendly and made us feel very welcome. The whole atmosphere was welcoming. Upon leaving, it was unanimous — we wanted to bring Mom here. We contacted Kyle and he started the paperwork. He was very helpful, and did a lot of the work for us.
When Mom arrived at Northwinds she was vent dependent and unable to tolerate the speaking valve, eat or drink anything, or walk. As the days went by, we could see tremendous improvements in Mom. Speech, respiratory, restorative, and physical/occupational therapy were working. Thanks to the guidance of the staff, Mom is currently using the speaking valve. It is fabulous to hear her talk after not hearing her for over a year. And her eating is continuing to improve. Plus, with the help from physical, restorative, and occupational therapy, she is standing, bending, and walking!
There are so many things we would like to say, but one of the greatest things about Northwinds Vent unit is that they allow the residents to live as “normal” a life as possible. Prior to coming here, mom had only been out of her room to go from one facility to another. Here, she gets out of her room into different settings.
It has been 8 ½ weeks and mom no longer needs to use a ventilator and she has moved to a new wing at Northwinds. It is so awesome; we now take her for long walks around the facility. When we tour the other units they know mom by first name, and staff stop to congratulate her on her accomplishments!
Thank you so much to all the staff who have helped my mom get where she is today. There were times it seemed that mom didn’t want to try, but with the help of the staff they were able to communicate the importance of the situation, and helped nudge her in the right direction. We honestly thought she would have to stay on a vent for life. Northwinds hard work, dedication, and compassion have definitely shown in our mom. Keep up the good work, you should all be very proud of yourselves and the work you do!
Thank you. We are truly grateful.
Jeff, Angie, Jen