Thrive by IU Health

October 21, 2021

White Memorial helping patient move from a motorized cart to walking the fields

IU Health White Memorial Hospital

White Memorial helping patient move from a motorized cart to walking the fields

Gene Dallinger suffers from COPD and started working with pulmonary rehab at IU Health White Memorial in March. He came in using a quad cane and was using a motorized cart at Walmart. His biggest complaint was that he wanted to work in his garden but could not get back up without assistance.

Gene Dallinger working with Pulmonary rehab at IU Health White Memorial

When Dallinger started his rehab, he was only able to walk small 25-foot laps in the pulmonary rehab department, before he would have to sit down and take a break. The pulmonary rehab team provided education to help him advance further each time. The education included energy-conserving techniques and different breathing techniques.

Dallinger participates two days a week. He has become stronger and more confident in himself with lots of encouragement. Dallinger has completed over 70% of his pulmonary rehab sessions and is now walking 40-45 minutes with a consistent speed on the treadmill. When he is done walking, he will go to the recumbent bike for an additional 15-20 minutes. He no longer uses a cane and is able to push a cart around the store. He is even helping his son with on the farm.

Dallinger always comments, “I feel so much better and am able to do so much more without getting short of breath.” Dallinger enjoys woodworking in his free time and is very proud to share his hard work with the pulmonary rehab team.

“Dallinger is much stronger and more confident with his normal daily activities which is our ultimate goal in pulmonary rehab. We want our patients leaving us and living the best life they can live even with COPD,” explained Kelsey Stetler, registered respiratory therapist with IU Health White Memorial.

IU Health White Memorial added Pulmonary Rehabilitation to its services in 2019. Pulmonary Rehab is a program designed to assist patients with lung or breathing problems in learning to live a more satisfying life within the limits of their disease. The pulmonary rehab program is a combination of education, exercise, goal-setting and long-term maintenance for continued success.

To learn more about the pulmonary rehabilitation program at IU Health White Memorial Hospital call 574.583.2667.

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