John Koester

Success Story

A retired college professor and minister, 80-year-old John Koester of Hyattville, Wyo., was enjoying retirement with his wife, Jeanne, whom he met on a blind date in 1966. A big sports fan, avid hunter, and golfer, he’s a handyman who went to “golf school” and then worked in greenkeeping. The couple have a son and daughter.

After a day of chopping wood and running on the treadmill this past spring, John suddenly slumped to his left side and could not talk or swallow. Recognizing the symptoms of a stroke, Jeanne, a retired nurse, quickly called 911. John was life-flighted to a medical center in Casper, Wyo.

During his stay at the medical center, Jeanne researched recovery options closer to home, but quickly realized they wanted the level of specialized rehabilitation offered at Elkhorn Valley Rehabilitation Hospital (EVRH). “I know John wouldn’t have progressed as much as he has if he hadn’t come here,” Jeanne says.

After six days of initial care, John was transferred to EVRH to begin his rehabilitation journey. He and Jeanne have many wonderful things to say about his caregivers. “Tristan, an occupational therapist, deserves accolades!” Jeanne says. “He always took time with John and calmed him down. John trusted him.”

“Everyone has been so positive. The staff here has been wonderful. The whole family is so happy with everything,” she adds. The couple gives special recognition to patient care technicians Marsha, Chris, Heidi, and Austin; registered nurses, Jess and Karen; respiratory therapist, Cheryl; case manager, Sheila; and the entire kitchen staff.

After 23 days of treatment at EVRH, John was discharged. He and Jeanne feel confident and set up for success.

“We received a lot of direction from the staff,” John says. “We’re excited to be home with family, and to reestablish our routines.”

John hopes to go hunting this fall and has already returned to the golf course. He plans to continue his recovery with outpatient therapy.