January 25, 2011
In November 2009, Gary Vaughn, 62, was involved in a car accident when a young woman, texting at the time, ran a red light. The accident forced his car into a wall and required extrication by emergency crews. Suffering from memory loss, a fractured hip and respiratory distress, he was taken to a nearby hospital where he spent a month on a ventilator.
Gary was admitted to CareMeridian Cowan Heights in December 2009. Staff immediately began to wean him off of vent care. Once he began to breathe on his own and his anxiety medications were reduced, Gary began to explore his new home, first in a wheelchair, then with a walker and later by cane. He collected a scrapbook of memories with patients and staff, including outings to the Great Park in Irvine and the Marconi Automobile Museum in Tustin. Discovering that Gary had a green thumb, CareMeridian staff encouraged him to cultivate his own vegetable garden at the facility.
After more than a year at CareMeridian Cowan Heights, during which Gary received intensive physical and speech therapy as well as encouragement and hope for recovery, Gary will return home this year to move on with his life and enjoy an active retirement.