Norma Betty recovers from heart attack 500 miles from home

Posted 12/22/17

Brittney Furgerson, speech therapist; Rocco Sarli, physical therapist; Kelly Newbould, physical therapist assistant; Aundrea Davis, occupational therapist assistant; Norma Sue Betty; her husband, Bob; and her daughter, Cindy Boler, pose for a photo at Life Care Center of Cleveland.


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Norma Betty recovers from heart attack 500 miles from home



Norma Sue Betty was staying with her daughter, Cindy Boler, at her Cleveland home when she had a heart attack.  


Betty was about 500 miles from her home in Lafayette, Indiana, and her husband, Bob, was traveling for work when the Oct. 4 incident occurred. She was rushed to the hospital and ended up spending 22 days there.


Because of the heart attack and the extended time she spent in bed, Betty was in need of rehabilitation before she could make the trip home.


On Oct. 25, she arrived at Life Care Center of Cleveland for physical, occupational and speech therapies. She had trouble swallowing, and she couldn’t stand up or take care of herself.


Physical and occupational therapists started her out with simple exercises, working toward her goal of getting independent enough that her family could drive her back to Indiana. They used a sliding board at first to help her get out of bed and into a wheelchair, and as she progressed, she was able to do more challenging activities, such as using leg weights to strengthen her legs.

“It was very hard to walk,” Betty said.


Speech therapy helped Betty relearn how to swallow and used cognitive stimulation exercises to help her with critical thinking skills. She completed her speech therapy at the end of November.


Betty continued her PT and OT into December. Her husband stayed with Boler during Betty’s rehab stay and was there daily to encourage her.


“She’s come a long way,” said Kelly Newbould, physical therapist assistant.


“I’ve tried to do everything that they’ve asked me to,” said Betty. “They were good to me. I feel like a human being again.”


Betty and her husband moved in temporarily next door to Boler on Dec. 18, just in time to spend Christmas with family. She was able to walk more than 70 feet, and easily get in and out of cars. 


She plans to return to Indiana at the end of December, and will continue therapy near her home.


For more information about rehab at Life Care Center of Cleveland, call 423-476-3254.


Life Care Center of Cleveland, located at 3530 Keith St., N.W., is one of 27 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Tennessee managed by Life Care Centers of America.


Founded in 1976, Life Care is a nationwide health care company. With headquarters in Cleveland, Life Care manages more than 200 skilled nursing, post-acute and Alzheimer’s centers in 28 states. For more information about Life Care, visit


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