When Scott M. began occupational therapy at The Recovery Project in July 2016, he was only being fed through a J tube, which had been in place since March 2015 when he was admitted to the hospital for aspiration, and had completely stopped eating solid foods. He also coughed frequently and had to carry a cup with him at all times to cough into. In fact, because of how he presented, he was unable to complete portions of his initial evaluation due to safety precautions.
This didn’t stop Scott from immediately setting to work on an intense occupational therapy regimen at The Recovery Project with a goal to begin eating foods orally. His therapists attended a course on the newest technology for swallowing therapy called the VitalStim Plus, a device that The Recovery Project ended up purchasing—making it the first clinic in metro Detroit to own the machine.
Since beginning his therapy, Scott has progressed amazingly. Thanks to intensive swallowing therapy at The Recovery Project paired with his commitment to a comprehensive home exercise program, Scott no longer wakes up coughing and doesn’t have to carry a cup with him anymore. Not only has he started eating pureed foods again nearly three months after beginning his program at The Recovery Project—his voice has gotten stronger since the VitalStim also has an effect on the vocal folds. His nurses consistently comment on how much easier it is to understand Scott now!