Left to right: Adam Federico, physical therapist assistant; Sharon Darrell; and Joyce Hayes, occupational therapist assistant

Sharon Darrell works as a mining supervisor.


She’s a lady who likes to be in charge.


In February 2018, Darrell found herself at the mercy of a gastrointestinal bleed that led to a protracted hospital stay. She had to learn how to cope with not being in charge.


“It was a big adjustment for me,” said Darrell. “I had to rely on others for my basic needs.”


When Darrell arrived at Life Care Center of Tucson, Arizona, she had been bed-bound for more than two weeks. She had lost much of her strength and was deconditioned to the point that she could not flex her elbows in order to bring her hands to her mouth, so she couldn’t feed herself, perform basic hygiene or even sit up in bed. She needed maximum assistance to transfer between her bed and a wheelchair.


The evaluating therapists at Life Care Center of Tucson prescribed a regimen that included electrical stimulation as well as vigorous exercise and re-training on management of her self-care needs. Darrell made slow but steady progress toward taking charge of her life again.


“Every day, Sharon seems to get a little bit stronger,” said Joyce Hayes, occupational therapist assistant. “She’s determined to take her life back.”


At the time of her discharge on May 3, Darrell was able to transfer herself, perform all of her self-care without physical assistance, feed herself and walk unassisted with a walker.


“Sharon is gradually finding her way back to solid ground,” said Ross Brantner, director of rehab. “Soon enough she and her crew will be digging in it.”