Dancing with a Star Resident
On January 13th, Sara Shipe went to her garage to get herself a case of Coca-Cola. Seconds later, she had fallen and broken both her left elbow and pelvis in two places. Now, for most 88 year old women, this would have been a life-threatening accident. but, Sara Shipe is not like most 88 year old women. She is a woman who worked out with a personal trainer two times a week and competed in ballroom dance. Sara often times took first place in the waltz, tango, and fox trot against competitors 23 years her junior. Anyone who knows Sara, also knows she is full of unique one-liners and quick wit. Needless to say, when Sara arrived at Cedar Springs, there was little indication of this ballroom dancing diva.
At the time of her evaluation, it didn't look as though she would return to her ballroom dancing ways. Sara arrived with a large splint on her left arm and was unable to sit in a wheelchair for more than 2 minutes without excruciating pain. She began participating in occupational, physical, and speech therapy. One of her first goals was to tolerate sitting in a wheelchair for 30 minutes. In therapy, multiple modalities were attempted to alleviate some of her pain and return her elbow to full ROM and function. Over the course of the next 10½ weeks, Sara pushed herself to achieve the goals that she had set. She never once said "no" to anything her therapists asked her to try and most of the time she exceeded our expectations. About six weeks into her rehab, her pelvic pain relented and she was able to complete her ADL's with less and less help and she was able to start walking longer and longer distances. Now her goals changed to returning home with some help and a walker. Again, Sara exceeded our expectations.
Today, Sara Shipe danced her way out of Cedar Springs! With the help of Jake Schwanz, CNA and former dance instructor, Sara showed off her ballroom dancing grace. In a gem studded gown and high-heeled shoes, Sara and Jake danced a beautiful Fox Trot to Michael Buble's "I Just Haven't Met You Yet." The audience was made up of patients, staff, and Sara's daughter Suzy. Sara will return to Fred Astaire Dance Studios next week to resume her lessons, and we at Cedar Springs look forward to seeing her dance in future competitions.