Leonard Mannella

Mr. Mannella's Story

Leonard Mannella, RN is no stranger to the everyday emergencies and medical traumas that occur inside a hospital. A seasoned medical professional, this 54-year-old spent his days caring for others and exercising empathy and compassion with all his patients. As an ER veteran, Mr. Mannella thought he had experienced it all. This perception changed when his role shifted from nurse to patient in fall 2010.

Prior to his stay at The Rehabilitation Center, Mr. Mannella endured two episodes of respiratory and kidney failure, forcing him into the ICU and onto dialysis. Due to trauma and failure with other surgical procedures, the attending orthopedic surgeon recommended amputation. As a result, Mr. Mannella underwent a right below-the-knee amputation and surgery on his left leg in October 2010. Following the surgeries, Mr. Mannella was to start his recovery in rehabilitation. After careful consideration, he selected The Rehabilitation Center at Southern Regional and has since said it was the best decision he made.

From the moment he arrived at Southern Regional, Mr. Mannella was cared for and treated like family. The pristine facility and warm-natured staff made his difficult journey to recovery more manageable. The initial concern and care afforded to Mr. Mannella from everyone he came in contact with set the tone for the rest of his stay at Southern Regional, which lasted approximately three weeks.

During that time, Mr. Mannella worked with Dr. D. Terrence Foster and therapists Maurice Warthen, Renee Sumlin and other staff members to regain his strength and adjust to his new lifestyle. Special arrangements were made to have Mr. Mannella’s casts replaced in the orthopedic surgeon’s office and his therapies adjusted accordingly. In addition, nutritional services worked with Mr. Mannella to help him plan his meals to ensure he received the right nutrition with a personalized meal plan.

The continual stream of positive reinforcement and encouragement Mr. Mannella received during his stay at The Rehabilitation Center culminated with a specific instance of kindness. Due to limited mobility, Mr. Mannella had not been able to shower for quite some time. After much encouragement and support from the staff, Mr. Mannella began working toward accomplishing this major milestone with pride and integrity. Occupational therapist Renee Sumlin was by his side each step of the slow and careful journey. The patience Sumlin exemplified during Mr. Mannella’s treatment was one of the things Mr. Mannella remembers most about his entire experience at Southern Regional.

“Everyone was so caring and kind,” (Mr.) Mannella said. “It made all the difference.”

Frequent visits from Dr. Foster, The Rehabilitation Center’s medical director, during his stay reminded Mr. Mannella of the type of care he worked to give his own patients. Rather than using what he called a “cookie cutter approach,” the staff at Southern Regional personalized a care plan to fit Mr. Mannella’s specific needs.

It is because of the support and help of the staff of The Rehabilitation Center at Southern Regional Medical Center that Mr. Mannella is making an excellent recovery. With the help of Dottie Borders, a social worker that assisted him during his rehabilitation, Mr. Mannella now has homecare assistance and is making progress every day. Adapting to his new prosthesis has been an ongoing learning process but with in-home physical therapy three times a week, Mr. Mannella is regaining his livelihood and learning to function with his new body. Recently, his left foot was cleared - a true sign of progress. As for his next step of this journey, Mr. Mannella said he can’t wait to reprise his role as a nurse.

For more information about The Rehabilitation Center at Southern Regional, clickhere.