Rehab Success Story: Peter Neckles
Peter Neckles loved playing golf, but debilitating hip pain prevented him from enjoying his favorite sport. But, after rehabbing at The Nathaniel Witherell following hip replacement surgery, he can now be found on the golf course, down in sunny Palm Beach, FL.
Peter, 68, a retired partner of the Manhattan law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, had lived fulltime in Greenwich with his wife, Marisa, before the couple moved to Florida four years ago (They still have a second home in Greenwich, where they return for the summer). While back in town last August, Peter chose to have his hip replaced at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan, and wanted a local place to rehab afterward.
The couple knew of the Witherell’s fine reputation. They also had several friends who had very good outcomes rehabbing here.
“From what we heard, their experiences only improved over the past four to five years due to all of the upgrades,” says Marisa. (Witherell’s Project Renew, which took place from 2012-14, involved a $27 million renovation of the facility’s infrastructure and environment that included a new, state-of-the-art, 4,000-square-foot Rehabilitation Center and 46 private rooms for rehab patients.)
When they toured the Witherell, the Neckles were extremely impressed with the facility and liked the convenient local setting. “Unlike other rehab centers that were large and institutional, we were very pleased with the scale of the facility and felt it was the most conducive setting for helping Peter get better and back on his feet,” recalls Marisa.
Once admitted to Witherell post surgery, Peter went to physical therapy twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. During his therapy sessions, he says the staff were very attentive and carefully monitored his progress, so that he went from “a wheelchair to a walker to a cane, all within a week.”
“With rehab after hip replacement surgery, the most important thing is the frequency of the movement and the exercise,” says Peter. “So, with two sessions a day, I was very active every day for three weeks.”
By his own admission, it would have taken him a lot longer if he had gone home after surgery and done it on his own. “I was made to do the physical therapy twice a day and was diligent about it; I think that was instrumental in my quick recovery,” he says.
In mid-September of last year, just a few weeks after his surgery, Peter walked out of the Witherell on his own. He continued to improve, and by early December his orthopedic surgeon gave him the green light to play golf.
“It was the happiest day of his life,” says Marisa. “He came home smiling ear to ear and said, ‘I’ve been cleared to play golf.’ I asked, ‘When?’ And he said, ‘Immediately!’”
Looking back on his experience, Peter says, “Witherell’s best features were the responsiveness, attentiveness, and upbeat attitudes of everyone on the staff. They were truly extraordinary.” Marisa agrees, noting, “The staff was wonderful. They were supportive, friendly, and attentive. It was just a delightful, delightful experience all around.”