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Myrt with her daughters in the fashion shop

Swing Bed gets 'ambitious' great-grandma back to life

Hard work has always been part of Myrtle Lecy's life.

"I dive into stuff because I'm ambitious," the Arkdale, Wis., native proudly says. The woman friends call "Myrt," who grew up with seven sisters and three brothers, farmed for a bit with her late husband and worked 33 years at Carole's Fashion Delights in Adams-Friendship.

"I worked hard, and I liked to work," Myrt says. "When my husband's folks passed, we moved to their farm, remodeled the house, raised beef cattle for a time and raised four kids. I was busy, but it gave me a weak back over time.”

Her weak back and a family history of osteoporosis eventually led to severe back pain. Myrt had to stop working at the fashion store and caring for her ailing husband was much more difficult on her own.

After her husband passed in December 2018, just shy of their 65th wedding anniversary, Myrt wore a back brace and took pain medication. But the back pain became unbearable by spring 2019.

Myrtle standing by fashion purses

"My family eventually took me to Gundersen Moundview Hospital. I barely remembered going there. I had a hard time breathing the pain was so bad,” Myrt remembers.

After a visit to the Gundersen Moundview Hospital emergency room in Friendship, Myrt was taken by ambulance to Gundersen Health System in La Crosse. X-rays showed she had five back fractures. Myrt had surgery the next day.

She was hospitalized in La Crosse for three days before returning to Adams-Friendship, where she was admitted to the Gundersen Moundview Swing Bed program.

"Swing Bed is a hospital-based program for medically stable patients who no longer need hospitalization, but are not quite ready to return home,” explains Brian Dean, manager, Inpatient Services, Gundersen Moundview.

"Our multidisciplinary team works with patients to develop a personal recovery plan. For someone like Myrt recovering from major surgery or an extensive procedure, or if someone needs rehabilitation after an extended hospital stay, Swing Bed can help them recover and return to the activities they enjoy."

For two weeks, Myrt worked hard to get back to her life. "I had physical therapy about three times a day – easy movements and such – to get me back to moving," Myrt says. "The staff was just wonderful. They helped me a lot."

Just 15 minutes from home, Gundersen Moundview was also convenient for Myrt's family and friends.

"We love it for regular care. When I was at the hospital, though, it was easy for my two girls and my son to come visit," Myrt shares. Myrt is easing back to the ambitious life she is used to. "I'm back to driving a bit, and I can do a few things around the house," Myrt confidently shares.

"At my age, I just want to be able to take care of myself, go shopping again with my daughters, and enjoy my five grandkids and four great-grandkids."

Ambitious…but what about the hard work?

"I don't care about working hard anymore," Myrt says with a chuckle. "I'm very lucky to have a great family, lots of friends…and lots of help around the house."

Swing Bed is personalized care

Gundersen Moundview providers and staff can provide:

  • Physician/nurse practitioner consultations
  • Skilled Nursing care
  • Nutrition Services, including customized diets and menus, to aid recovery
  • Physical Therapy to build strength and flexibility and maintain balance
  • Occupational Therapy to increase independence for bathing, dressing, grooming, cooking and basic housekeeping
  • Pharmacy
  • Respiratory Therapy
  • Social Work to connect with services and resources during your stay and when you return home
  • Speech Therapy

Call (608) 339-3331 to learn more.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System staff deliver great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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