Left to right: Kelly Newbould, physical therapist assistant; Betty Rubin; and Eileen Nudd, occupational therapist assistant

Cleveland, Tennessee, resident Betty Rubin is heading to Florida for her granddaughter’s beachside wedding.


It wasn’t long ago that she thought she wasn’t going to make it to the grand event.


Rubin had a fall in May 2018 when her left knee suddenly gave out on her. She had surgery to put her knee back together, and the doctor restricted her from putting weight on that knee until it could properly heal.


At first, Rubin didn’t expect to be walking again until December.


On May 28, Rubin came to Life Care Center of Cleveland for rehabilitation and nursing.


Physical therapists started Rubin out with exercises she could do while seated or lying down, with the aim of strengthening her muscles and improving her range of motion so she could be ready to walk once her knee healed enough to put weight on it. Occupational therapists helped her use adaptive equipment to complete daily self-care tasks.


Rubin made a lot of progress, and when she reached a certain point, she stopped therapy until she was cleared to put weight on her knee. In the interim, restorative nursing helped her maintain the gains she had made by keeping up with the exercises. The nursing staff also made a difference by getting her on a CPM machine, a special machine to help her leg move without her having to move it. This helped with her range of motion.


When Rubin returned to her surgeon for her follow-up appointment and X-rays, she got the go-ahead faster than she expected.


“My doctor was amazed with my progress,” Rubin said. “He said, ‘I want you walking.’”


Therapists started Rubin on gait training and standing balance, including cooking, and it wasn’t long before she was ready to try her community assessment. She joined several other residents nearing the end of their therapy programs in going to Cracker Barrel and doing grocery shopping at Cooke’s Food Store. She even managed to go up and down the steps in the bus.


“Betty has been driven,” said Kelly Newbould, physical therapist assistant. “She is a rock star.”


Rubin returned home on Aug. 31, with plans to attend her granddaughter’s wedding after all.


“I’m excited, and she is too,” said Rubin. “I’m most excited about being well, and I’m thankful for the help I’ve received.”