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A Journey to Mobility: Terry’s Story

On May 16, 2023, Terry Schliemann’s day began in the early morning hours in anticipation of transformation as he prepared for a hip replacement surgery. The Gunnison Valley Health staff stood ready, a supportive presence waiting in front of the elevators. It was the beginning of a journey that would be characterized by care and unwavering support.

Terry’s surgical nurse, Sara, emerged as a reassuring guide, explaining the pre-operative procedures with an accuracy that would set the tone for what was to come.

“Every step happened just as described,” Terry would later reflect.

The visit from orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Blake Clifton, reaffirmed Terry’s trust in the process, as every detail of the surgery’s plan was verified.

The rest of the morning ran like clockwork, each element fitting seamlessly into the next. Sara’s expertise in physically and mentally preparing Terry for the upcoming procedure was evident, instilling a sense of ease as they navigated the final pre-op preparations together.

“In those moments, I felt like I was at home as we checked off final procedures before the operation,” Terry noted.

Terry’s memory of the surgery itself is a fleeting one, marked by the caring presence of caregivers like Sara.

“When it comes to the surgery, there isn’t a lot that sticks in my memory except for the individuals who were looking after me. I went to sleep right after” Terry remarked with gratitude.

As the fog of anesthesia lifted, Terry found himself under the attentive care of two remarkable nurses, Betsy Welsh, and Jesse Mendez. In this moment, Terry truly appreciated the unwavering dedication of the Gunnison Valley Health staff in ensuring a thorough understanding of the intricacies of the recovery journey.

“The sense of peace and security I felt during my awakening was invaluable” Terry would reflect.

The significance of understanding the post-op journey, the regaining of consciousness and the impact of anesthetics was not lost on him. It was a true example of the depth care provided by Gunnison Valley Health.

Following his surgery, a hearty continental breakfast was a joyful return to simple pleasures after hours of fasting. Physical therapist Marilyn Tibljas stopped by to help Terry, embark on the next phase of the healing journey.

“There’s no rest for the weary as the saying goes and Marilyn is no exception,” Terry noted.

Marilyn’s guidance had Terry up and moving with a walker within hours of the surgery. Her explanation of the purpose behind every step resonated deeply with Terry inspiring a willingness to embrace the challenges ahead.

“She was also excellent at explaining why all these things (like therapy) matter,” Terry said.

Though Terry felt apprehension prior to the surgery and grogginess afterward, the overwhelming sense of security and compassion Terry felt during his time at the hospital supported him every step of the way.

“Admittedly, I was little apprehensive prior to the surgery and a little groggy afterwards, but I’ll never forget the feeling of security and, well, love when being looked after at GVH, “Terry reflected.

From the earliest morning greeting to the final assistance into his vehicle that afternoon, the care he received was nothing short of exceptional.

Terry’s final words are a testament to the significance of his experience.

“To the GVH staff, your work is immeasurable. Your collective effort transforms the complex into the manageable, and your dedication shapes the path of recovery. Thank you for making success feel effortless. Thank you!”