November 26, 2013

ECH keeps patients active during recovery



He said it is more personal at ECH than when he was hospitalized at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington.

“It’s like being with a family,” he said.

Holding Hulburt’s hand, he added, “Kammy really helped me through a hard time and got me going.”


Dumas said that when he first arrived at ECH, he was bed-ridden and had to be lifted with a hoist.

“Then they got me into therapy (PT, OT) four times a day. By the third week, I could start doing stuff by myself. This was an incentive to try to get better.

“They encouraged me when I wasn’t in the mood,” he said. “They are not just like doctors following a script.”

After discovering that baking was one of Dumas’s passions, Hulbert took him to buy supplies and arranged for him to bake in the ECH kitchen, supervised by an occupational therapist. He shared his baked goods with staff and patients.

Hulburt and occupational therapist Angie Baker, took Dumas fishing at Lincoln Pond.

“I hunted and fished a lot. I like to be outdoors, and this gave me the opportunity to do so,” he said.

 At the end of his hospital stay, the ECH team did a home visit to ascertain if he could safely acclimate.

“We do home visits to make sure the patient can navigate and be safe before they are discharged,” said Hooper. 

“They taught my girlfriend of 19 years how to take care of me and address my needs until I could do stuff myself. I couldn’t even do this” said Dumas, as he put sweetener and cream into his coffee.


Calendars on the wall of patients’ rooms list a multitude of activities, which include, depending on the season, church, sporting events, the Essex County Fair, farmers markets, dining opportunities with other patients, puzzles, playing cards and Wii games, Kindle usage, patient photography, music, baking, hobbies and scenic drives.

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