Dennis VanHouten

After battling an acute illness while undergoing chemotherapy, Dennis VanHouten thought he was on the road to recovery. In late April, he went into a state of septic shock and respiratory failure. He arrived at the hospital extremely weak, unable to walk or sit up in bed.

Dennis chose to continue his recovery at Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital. Hesitant at first, he knew that their intense program including physical and occupational therapy is what he needed. He explained, “I made a good decision in choosing to come to Highlands. I wanted to leave the hospital and just go home. I really thought I could do it on my own!”

With the support of his wife, Elena, his three children, and grandchildren, Dennis started his journey to recovery. His granddaughter even brought him a cute stuffed sloth to help him through his stay. Dennis said, “I couldn’t have made it without him!”

Dennis and his team of therapists developed specific recovery goals. He wanted to return home with his family, go back to work 100%, and drive again. He explained, “My therapists were stubborn, but that is exactly what you need if you want to be rehabilitated. Somebody has to push you, like your coach in football!” He appreciated the encouragement he received from his two therapists, Samantha and Nancy.

After working hard at his recovery, Dennis started seeing real results. “In two weeks, I was able to wheel myself in my wheelchair, walk with a walker independently, and take care of some of my activities of daily living.”

Looking forward to returning home, Dennis will continue to work on his goals with his family by his side. “It has been a pleasure to be here and I am so lucky to be going home! Thank you, Highlands!”