Eula Odell making pizza with Kristin Swinchoski, occupational therapist

Eula Odell was hospitalized twice for pneumonia and suffered from acute respiratory failure with hypoxia, a lack of oxygen through her body.


When Odell arrived at Life Care Center of Waynesville, Missouri, on March 7, 2017, she was on oxygen and could only walk 20 feet with a front-wheeled walker. She had great trouble with her self-care tasks and needed total assistance to groom herself, bathe, get dressed and manage her medications. She was in no shape to return home.


Physical, occupational and speech therapists began working with Odell. The physical therapy team focused on improving her strength, endurance and balance, while the occupational therapy team centered its efforts on helping her regain independence in caring for herself. Speech therapy targeted her voice to improve her breathing and speech rhythms.


“I think I really did good here,” said Odell. “The therapy is what brought me out. All the kindness of the therapists really helped me.”


Odell was able to return home independently on April 5. When she left, she could walk up to 350 feet at a time with an assistive device and could manage her own oxygen levels.