Betty Payne with Brian Fletcher, occupational therapist assistant, and Claudia Castano, physical therapist assistant

Betty Payne considers herself a living miracle.


“They told me three different times that I was dying,” Payne said. “And I’ve had to learn to walk now four different times.”


This past time, Payne developed cellulitis in her legs, an infection of the deep tissues of the skin. When she came to Life Care Center of Cleveland, Tennessee, for rehabilitation, she needed four people and a mechanical lift to help get her out of bed.


Nursing staff helped her with compression wrappings on her legs for the swelling, and physical and occupational therapists worked with her to get her re-conditioned. They used strengthening exercises and had Payne use the bicycle with hand cranks to work out her upper and lower body. They practiced her daily self-care activities with her to teach her adaptive techniques and help her relearn what she would need to do to go home. They also had her practice walking with a walker.


Payne said she has appreciated the encouragement.


“They push me,” she said of her therapists.


“She has a positive mind,” said Claudia Castano, physical therapist assistant. “The best thing she does when she’s walking is sing.”


Payne loves to sing and has even written more than a few songs about her life experiences and the faithfulness of God. Her ultimate goal is not just going home but walking into church.


Payne is now able to get around her house and take care of herself with the assistance of her daughter and son, with whom she lives. She went home on May 7, 2019.