Rayford Anderson

World War II Veteran Defies the Odds Proving that Age Is Merely a Number

Rayford AndersonWhen World War II military veteran Rayford Anderson suffered a stroke his family immediately called 911. EMTs arrived within minutes transporting the 93 year old to Southern Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Department. As an accredited primary stroke center awarded by the Joint Commission, Southern Regional administered the clot busting drug Alteplase also known as TPA upon Mr. Anderson’s arrival into the ER.

After a short hospital stay, Anderson transitioned to the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit a few days later. His daughter and caretaker, Brenda Rutledge credits the continuity of care at Southern Regional for her father’s progress, “A lot of the success toward my father’s recovery was due to the level of care he received from the time he arrived in the ER through his rehabilitation at the hospital.”

“The rehab floor is very friendly and all the staff was encouraging and informative” said Rutledge who further elaborated that her family noticed the same level of care and respect extended to other patients when she would visit her father.

Anderson led a very active and independent lifestyle prior to his stroke, the challenge of rehab and the temporary loss of his mobility proved at times frustrating for Anderson said Rutledge. “My father’s generation was raised to be self sufficient,” said Rutledge. Persevering through the challenges and regaining his mobility was a priority for Anderson who spent 16 days in Inpatient Rehab.

Moving from Inpatient to Outpatient Rehab, Anderson spent an additional eight months in physical and occupational therapy. Rutledge specifically credits the professionalism and care extended to her father by Outpatient Rehab staff members, Shavonna Renee Sumlin, Sebastian Warner and the impeccable customer service of Terra Joyce, registration associate. Anderson never missed a day of therapy and always had kind words of wisdom for the therapists and other patients he encountered said Saloshni Pillay, SRMC’s director of Rehabilitation Services.

When asked about the driving force behind her father’s resilience and optimism Rutledge said, “My dad has always had a deep faith and trust in God. He has a positive outlook and he isn’t afraid of death at his age. He has a great family support system; my three other siblings have been very active in overseeing his care during and after his rehabilitation.”

“I have a lot of appreciation for Southern Regional; my dad has lived in Clayton County for 50 years. We have seen the hospital at it’s inception, the many transitions that have taken place and as a family I must say it is a testament to the leadership at the hospital,” said Rutledge lauding the cordial nature of everyone from physicians, nurses to the environmental services department during her father’s stay and outpatient visits.

“I would recommend this hospital and encourage doctors to refer their patients to Southern Regional,” said Rutledge. Since being discharged Anderson has gotten back to one of his passions, tending to his garden this past spring, he continues to encourage and inspire others.