Brenda Dunwoody stands next to the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®, one of the tools in her rehabilitation.

Brenda Dunwoody came to Cottesmore of Life Care in Gig Harbor, Washington, on Nov. 6, 2015, in need of complete assistance.


Dunwoody had been a pedestrian hit by a car. The accident left her with multiple pelvic, spinal and cervical fractures and shoulder dislocation. After being cared for in the hospital, she needed extensive rehabilitation in order to be ready to return home to her husband, who was stationed at Joint Base Lewis McCord.


It would take a lot of work to get back to independence. Dunwoody started out needing three people to help her get out of bed, quite a shift in independence for a 47-year-old!


Seven days a week, physical and occupational therapists worked with Dunwoody on exercises to strengthen and condition her muscles and joints, and stretching to regain her range of motionThe Omnicycle™ was a particularly helpful tool, enabling her to exercise her upper and lower body in fluid motions while seated, and the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill® allowed her to exercise and practice her gait in a secure and un-weighted environment.


“This facility turned a skilled nursing experience into a family experience,” said Dunwoody. “There is a lot of value in being greeted every morning with breakfast and a hug.”


In just five and a half weeks, the hard work and tender loving care paid off. Dunwoody was able to take care of herself again independently and was even able to manage stairs without an assistive device!


“She achieved her goals because of her positive outlook and willingness to participate in therapy,” said Tamara Burt, occupational therapist. “The support of her strong military family also contributed to her success.”


“Thanks to therapy, I am not going to be limited by the circumstances that brought me here,” said Dunwoody.


Dunwoody returned home on Dec. 16 and has since returned to Cottesmore of Life Care for outpatient therapy to continue her progress.


“This entails a 30-40 minute commute each way, but she persisted to get her insurance to allow her to come back,” shared Nanette Los, director of rehab services. “That’s how much she liked the therapy here!”

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