Success Story: Donald Halbfoerster
"They gave me the push I needed."
Donald Halbfoerster, 53, was driving to work early one morning, at the start of what was supposed to be an ordinary day, but what happened next was anything but typical.
Donald was broadsided by a vehicle authorities estimate was traveling as fast as 90 mph. The accident was horrific. He could have died that morning, but instead Donald fought for his life. It was a fight that continued long after rescuers successfully revived him.
Donald woke up several weeks later from a medically induced coma to find that he was suffering from massive injuries. A broken neck, fractured skull, broken jaw, crushed ribs, lacerated liver, shattered left arm and hand were just a few of the obstacles he would have to overcome on his journey to recovery.
Perhaps one of the only things not broken was Donald’s spirit.
“When the wires were taken off of my jaw, I started talking right away,” says Donald. “I began saying good morning to everyone in the halls. People were amazed.”
Once stabilized at an acute-care hospital, Donald’s family chose to have him transferred to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital – Allentown, for inpatient rehabilitation care.
“I would only be able to do half of what I can do today without Good Shepherd. They gave me the push I needed,” says Donald.
After a month of intensive inpatient therapy, Donald was discharged and began his outpatient rehabilitation at Good Shepherd Physical Therapy – Bath. There, he worked with Jason Finney, MPT (pictured, right, with Donald).
“When Donald came to us, he had significant range of motion and strength deficits which made him incapable of reaching overhead or behind his back, and left him unable to work,” says Jason. “To maximize Donald's function, we developed a strengthening program to improve joint mobility and overall range of motion in the hopes that he would be able to lead a normal life.”
Today, Donald is back at home, back to work and back to enjoying life as he had prior to his accident. He even has full command of his left arm and hand, and he can lift 32lb boxes – an accomplishment that may not have been possible without the comprehensive therapy he received at Good Shepherd.
“I never wondered IF I would get better, and that is because of the people at Good Shepherd,” says Donald, “I’ve been recommending Good Shepherd since the day I finished therapy, and I always will.”