Gaylin and Barbara Anderson

Rehab Patients Enjoy Their "Active 80's"

(Pictured) Gaylin and Barbara Anderson are honored as Patients of the Year for Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services - Paola.

Gaylin and Barbara Anderson of Paola have a different take on retirement than most. Gaylin, 80, put up 2,000 square bales of hay earlier this year and cares for a number of horses on their farm. Also 80, Barbara helps Gaylin out on the farm, and enjoys the thrill of the hunt she gets from garage sales. The couple likes to travel the country in their motor home, visiting family throughout the year.

A year ago, Gaylin injured his neck and shoulder when he fell of a horse while roping cattle. The injury left a narrowing in his spinal column, causing his neck muscles to tighten up.

“I couldn’t turn my head, I couldn’t raise one of my arms above my shoulder and I was in a lot of pain,” said Gaylin. His doctor sent him to Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services in Paola.

“My therapists were outstanding. They really are good at what they do,” Gaylin said. “They encouraged me—sometimes challenged me—to work hard, and with their help I regained my range of motion in my neck and can now get my injured arm above my head.”

Barbara had suffered for years with foot and ankle problems of her own. She often required a cane or a scooter to get around. Previous doctors had told her she would need surgery, but she decided against it and just put up with the pain. In early 2017 the pain worsened, and Barbara’s leg became so swollen that she decided to go the emergency room. Her doctor put her in a boot and warned her that surgery might be inevitable, but Gaylin suggested that Barbara try physical therapy first.

Barbara worked hard in therapy, where she learned much about improving her posture, increasing muscle strength and changing the way she moved.

“Now I’m walking without a walker or a cane, and I know so much more about how to care for my body by being aware of how I sit down, how I stand up and how I walk,” said Barbara. “I’m so thankful that I’m able to walk and am not hurting. Our therapists were so personable with us. We’re all friends for life now.”

You might also be interested in:

  • Holly Menning and her family

    "Miracle" Patient: How OMC Doctors Put Holly's Heart Back Together

    Holly Menning, 40, is grateful to be alive. She suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection (SCAD) and had a two percent chance of survival. Thanks to the quick-thinking ER and Cardiology teams at Olathe Medical Center, she is back home with her family.

    Read More >
  • Kristin, Barbara and Holly celebrate with Dr. Meurer and Dr. Yarlagadda

    Olathe Health Cardiologists Save Three Generations of Women

    Many people who have experienced heart complications will tell you the symptoms hit you at an unexpected time. For Kristin Corey, it was at her sister's house in 2014. For her mother, Barbara Sweazy, it was when she had returned home from watching an opera. For Kristin's daughter, Holly Menning, it was while she was preparing dinner for her family. One thing they all knew they could expect: life-saving care at Olathe Medical Center.

    Read More >
  • Jack doing cardiac rehab at MCMC

    Cardiac Rehabilitation Gets Jack on the Road to Recovery

    The new Cardiac Rehabilitation program at Miami County Medical Center (MCMC) is a medically-supervised program designed to provide patients with healthy lifestyle education, a closely monitored exercise program, diet and nutrition counseling, and encouragement and support to recover from heart disease or surgery. Seventy-four-year-old Jack Coffman was one of the first cardiac rehab patients at MCMC earlier this year.

    Read More >