William Cornwell was on a feeding tube since May 2017 due to a fractured clavicle and ribs after a fall at home.
His daughter and sitter believed he could swallow and enjoy foods and drinks again, so they brought him to Life Care Center of Ooltewah, Tennessee, on Sept. 25 for speech therapy.
Cornwell worked with Ellen Ford, speech therapist, to develop a safe swallow. Ford used neuromuscular electrical stimulation, oral motor exercises and compensatory strategies to help him achieve his goal.
Cornwell was able to get off the feeding tube and is eating and drinking again. He can currently eat a mechanical soft diet, with foods that are easy to chew, and drink nectar-thick liquids.
“I am so pleased with the results of my speech therapy and being able to swallow food again,” Cornwell said. “I feel like a human being again. It is wonderful to taste foods and drink safely again. I cannot thank Ellen enough for the time she spent providing treatment, exercises to help me swallow and teaching me, my daughter and my nurse/sitter the reason behind the treatment provided.”
Cornwell returned home on Oct. 19.