John's story

Photo of John Kuver in Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation.

Meet John Kuver, a retiree, fisherman, gardener and family man. John lives with his wife, daughter and two grandchildren in Hillsborough. He was enjoying a typical day when he fell down a set of steps leading from his kitchen to the garage.

“I don’t know if I slipped or if the leg just gave out, and I wound up at the bottom of the steps, in a lot of pain,” John said.

During the fall, he ruptured his quadriceps tendon, which separated the muscle from his right knee. He wasn’t able to get up and had to be rushed by EMS to the hospital. He was initially sent home from the hospital, but his condition worsened, leading to another fall and hospital admission. John had surgery that was successful.

John required specialized rehabilitative care to regain his lost strength and independence before he could continue the active lifestyle he enjoyed.

“I spent some time in the hospital recovering, and I had heard from different people that Kessler was the place I wanted to be,” said John. He was admitted to Kessler Institute of Rehabilitation (KIR) - Chester with three goals: to regain his ability to walk, climb stairs and perform daily activities independently.

The rehabilitation team at KIR-Chester worked with John and his family to put a treatment plan in place. At the time of admission, he was barely able to walk or navigate steps.

“Kessler was able to show me how to walk up stairs using both hands, using the proper technique as to which leg to use going up and using the bad leg to go down,” he recalled. “All of that helped and contributed to gaining not only strength but confidence.”

Indeed, John's rehabilitation experience was marked by significant milestones. He went from relying on a walker to walking with a cane within days. His hope grew with each step, and he soon could do everyday tasks, from navigating the bathroom to getting in and out of a car.

He credits his physical and occupational therapists for his speedy progression. From strength and balance exercises to learning to safely navigate the kitchen and bathroom, John worked daily on performing the tasks that he’d have to do at home.

“I could feel the balance, the strength, all of the exercises … coming together,” he continued. “I could feel the confidence building.” In addition to his own therapy, John appreciated the family training provided to his wife so that she knew how to help as he continued to recover at home.

At discharge, John was able to walk 500 feet, climb up to 28 stairs and perform many tasks independently. The team at KIR-Chester, including physical and occupational therapists, helped him achieve his goals in just nine days.

"The reputation that Kessler is well deserved,” said John. “The entire team working in concert did a heck of a job. It really contributed to my independence, my ability to get back home, to be safe and feel confident that I'm going to be fully functional in the not too distant future."