Ch­est­nut Knoll res­i­dent checks off bucket-list item; at­tends Navy Re­union

Veteran Emil Schulthe­isz suf­fered a stroke in 2017 and has worked to re­gain his phys­i­cal stamina and abil­ity

The Boyertown Area Times - - LOCAL NEWS - From Ch­est­nut Knoll, Boy­er­town

Ch­est­nut Knoll Per­sonal Care and Mem­ory Care has com­pas­sion­ate care­givers, who will help your loved one and fam­ily tran­si­tion through tough times.

Just ask Ch­est­nut Knoll res­i­dent, Emil Schulthe­isz, and his wife, Au­drey.

Emil, a World War II and Korean War Veteran, was liv­ing in­de­pen­dently at home with Au­drey when he sud­denly suf­fered a stroke. The “brain at­tack” deeply af­fected his speech, vi­sion, bal­ance, and mem­ory. He went from a hospi­tal to a skilled nurs­ing re­hab.

“Be­fore he be­came a res­i­dent at Ch­est­nut Knoll, Emil started to give up. He didn’t see a rea­son to go on,” said Au­drey. “But, I couldn’t let him quit. He had come so far in his re­cov­ery. I needed to find a place that would not only re­store his strength but his faith, too.”

Fi­nally, Au­drey’s search was over. In late 2017, Emil moved to Ch­est­nut Knoll. He had lost much of the progress he had made af­ter his stroke, but with the sup­port of the Ch­est­nut Knoll team, they en­cour­aged Emil to par­tic­i­pate in the FOX Op­ti­mal Liv­ing pro­gram, and he quickly found the spark that re­stored his faith in life.

With a new­found zest, Emil set out to conquer his long-time goal—to re­unite with other ser­vice mem­bers of the USS Brink­ley Bass (DD-887) in Louisville, Kentucky.

He knew this would be quite the chal­lenge, but he was de­ter­mined to achieve it. With mo­ti­va­tion from the Ch­est­nut Knoll care­givers, FOX Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion clin­i­cians, and fam­ily mem­bers, Emil be­gan to put in the work to achieve his goal.

The clin­i­cal ex­perts en­rolled Emil in the Strength, Mo­bil­ity and Bal­ance pro­gram, which uses ev­i­dence­based, ob­jec­tive as­sess­ment tools to im­prove strength, mo­bil­ity and bal­ance deficits. In ad­di­tion to skilled ther­apy, Emil par­tic­i­pated in over 150 min­utes of wellness ac­tiv­i­ties and group ex­er­cise per week in or­der to re­gain his phys­i­cal stamina and abil­ity.

“Emil is a true tes­ta­ment to the power of the FOX Op­ti­mal Liv­ing pro­gram. Since the day he has moved in, Emil has al­ways given 110 per­cent ef­fort in his ther­apy, group ex­er­cise classes, and his home ex­er­cise pro­gram, which he com­pletes with his wife,” said Dr. An­drew Har­nish, re­hab di­rec­tor of the FOX Op­ti­mal Liv­ing pro­gram at Ch­est­nut Knoll. “He has a new out­look on life and is also one of our most com­pas­sion­ate res­i­dents. We are all so proud to see Emil travel to Kentucky and re­unite with his for­mer ser­vice mem­bers. “

When the go­ing got tough, Emil got go­ing. And, af­ter eight short months of ded­i­ca­tion, his willpower brought him to the mo­ment of truth. He was strong enough to en­dure the nine­hour drive to Kentucky so he could at­tend the re­union from July 25 to Aug. 1, 2018.

Emil, the for­mer Navy fire con­trol­man, who served aboard the USS Brink­ley Bass (DD-887) dur­ing the Korean War, re­united with other crewmem­bers that were sta­tioned on the ship dur­ing its com­mis­sion.

“I had my fair share of good times and tough times in the Navy. I saw ac­tion, the ship took hits, and I lost friends along the way,” said Emil. “I en­joy any chance I can get to re­unite with other Vet­er­ans, whether we served to­gether or not; we’re like fam­ily.”

Emil shared he was once or­dered to re­paint the 8-foot num­bers on the side of the ship be­cause the Navy changed the height re­quire­ments. He painted while be­ing sus­pended over the Pa­cific Ocean in a hal­ter-like bo­sun’s chair.

While at the re­union, Emil showed off his slick moves dur­ing a spin on the dance floor with his wife, Au­drey. The ther­apy ser­vices he re­ceives at Ch­est­nut Knoll have en­abled Emil to re­gain the bal­ance and strength he needs to con­tinue to en­joy life and ac­com­plish any goal he wants to achieve.

“Emil has pro­gressed won­der­fully at Ch­est­nut Knoll,” said Au­drey. “I’m so grate­ful of the care he has had and con­tin­ues to re­ceive.”

Now that he has proved him­self, Emil has a new goal in mind. As a re­tired, co-owner of an ad­ver­tis­ing agency, Schulthe­isz Kennedy in Pottstown, he has an im­mense pas­sion for art and writ­ing. Cur­rently, he has stored about 40 short sto­ries he had writ­ten over the years, which he is work­ing to have pub­lished.

“The FOX Op­ti­mal Liv­ing pro­gram is truly a unique pro­gram. It pro­vides our res­i­dents with more than just phys­i­cal ben­e­fits; this pro­gram shows them they can do the im­pos­si­ble,” said Jodie Daniels, as­sis­tant ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at Ch­est­nut Knoll. “We’re all so proud of Emil’s ac­com­plish­ments!”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Emil Schulthe­isz, cen­ter, a World War II, Korean War Veteran and Ch­est­nut Knoll res­i­dent, re­cently at­tended a re­union in Louisville, Kentucky, in late July, with his wife, Au­drey, and son, David, to join to­gether with other ser­vice mem­bers of the USS Brink­ley Bass (DD-887). Schulthe­isz suf­fered a stroke in 2017 and has worked hard over eight months to re­gain his phys­i­cal stamina and abil­ity through the FOX Op­ti­mal Liv­ing pro­gram at Ch­est­nut Knoll.

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