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
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!”
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.