John Calka

As a full-time husband, John Calka loved being around family and friends. They filled their time with activities like playing cards and going for walks. He also loved to cook for everyone! His life turned upside down after suffering respiratory failure. His condition required full ventilator support with a feeding tube for nutritional support.

John decided to transfer to Vibra Hospitals of Southeastern Michigan – Taylor Campus for his continued recovery. He arrived still on the ventilator and PEG tube. He was very anxious and required restraints to keep him from pulling at his lines and tubes. His nursing team first addressed his anxiety so that he could participate in therapy and start his recovery.

Although restless and impulsive, John began to come around and showed great potential and drive to get back to his old life. Eventually capped, he was finally able to start his therapy.  Upon initial evaluation, they determined he was dependent for all mobility and activities of daily living. John required extended and frequent rest breaks to complete all activities. This was due to his significant anxiety around his respiratory and physical debility. Additionally, he couldn’t have any food by mouth due to impairments with swallowing and poor reflexes.

John’s positive attitude and love for life helped him push through the anxiety, fatigue, muscle impairments, and pain from joint stiffness. He maintained his determination to “get it done” and his independent personality rocketed his recovery. His attitude inspired the staff and they finally began to see the real John Calka.

John conquered his goals and carried over new education and compensatory strategies from his therapy sessions. During his time at Vibra, John looked to his family for support and they helped him maintain his drive to return home. He can now ambulate over 150 feet with noted improvement in endurance and strength. He achieved his independence with his self-care tasks while maintaining good safety awareness. Finally liberated from the ventilator, he can now talk and eat regular food again.

On the day of his discharge, John came out of his room standing at the door with his walker dressed and ready to go. He had the biggest smile on his face and told every staff member how much he appreciated what they did for him. He looks forward to returning home with his family and friends, and can’t wait to pick up his old hobbies again like playing cards.