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Jim's Story

Transitional Care
“I was so thankful when they said he could come to Sauk Centre to recover. Having him here is so convenient and saved me a lot of time and money that it would have taken to drive to St. Cloud.”

In June 2018, three days after returning home to recover from his surgery to remove a cancerous polyp, Jim Spence went into septic shock — a potentially fatal medical condition as a result of infection.

After eight surgeries, 17 days in the Intensive Care Unit and two months at St. Cloud Hospital, Jim’s condition was stabilized and he was able to be transferred to CentraCare – Sauk Centre to continue his recovery close to his home in Grey Eagle.

“I was so thankful when they said he could come to Sauk Centre to recover,” said Jim’s wife, Christine. “Having him here is so convenient and saved me a lot of time and money that it would have taken to drive to St. Cloud."

Jim certainly fit the definition of “complex medical needs.” When he arrived in transitional care, he couldn’t walk or get out of bed.

“It’s the perfect place for a patient to recover, regain strength and prepare for a smooth transfer back home,” said Mary Rasmussen, RN, care coordinator.

“Patients in are transitional care to recover from surgery, stroke, a severe infection, joint replacement or multiple fractures from trauma. Or they may need tube feeding for nutrition, IV antibiotics, complex wound care or medical care associated with a tracheostomy, respiratory devices or a ventilator. Some patients need only a short recovery, while others have more complex needs,” says Mary.

Physical and occupational therapists, nursing staff, a social worker, care coordinator and physician were all part of Jim’s multi-specialist team. The team worked with Jim to design an individualized care plan that addressed his physical and social needs.

Jim cannot say enough about his great experience with transitional care.

“The nurses and therapists were so special,” he said. “They would do anything to make me comfortable and feel better. They gave me the attention I needed to recover.”

After four weeks of transitional care, Jim went home but his recovery was not yet complete. He received home health care and rehabilitation for another month to continue his journey of regaining his strength and endurance.

A year later, Jim is starting to feel back to normal. He went from not being able to lift his spoon to playing nine holes of golf.

“I owe the staff at Sauk Centre a huge debt of gratitude,” he said.