Kenneth Banner walking with his therapists

On Jan. 30, 2015, Kenneth Banner came to The Heritage Center in Morristown, Tennessee, looking for help in managing multiple medical conditions and regaining his independence.


Banner had been in three different hospitals. With a weight of 330 lbs., he suffered from hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, congestive heart failure, an irregular heartbeat and diabetes. He required total assistance with basic, everyday tasks and couldn’t lift either of his legs. He was ready to get better.


“At first, I didn’t want to go to a rehab facility,” Banner said, “but that all changed when I met Beth [Williams, physical therapist assistant at The Heritage Center]. Beth is a fireball and motivator. I told my wife, ‘Beth is going to make me better.’”


Williams and other physical and occupational therapy staff members began working with Banner to help him regain strength and endurance, and the whole facility team worked together to educate him about his conditions and how to care for them, as well as to help him lose weight.


“I have done all that the therapists have asked me to do and more,” said Banner. “I would do exercises in my room without being asked by my therapists.”


Each day, Banner noticed a little more progress.


“Everyone has been so encouraging to me: housekeepers, nurses, the whole staff at Heritage,” he said, adding that the friendships he has made with other rehab patients have been invaluable.


“I am more outgoing than I was before,” Banner said. “The Heritage Center has meant life, hope and friendship to me.”


In May 2015, Banner was able to return home, using a walker. He continued therapy on an outpatient basis until Aug. 6.


“When Mr. Banner left our facility in the late spring, he installed an air conditioning unit in his home his second day home,” said Williams.


Banner had reached a level of function that allowed him to perform this task, something that he hadn’t been able to do for more than 10 years.


When Banner started his outpatient program, Williams said, “He started to use a cane, and we got him to where he needed no assistive devices at all. Kenneth exceeded all my expectations from my first meeting with him. He is the face of an amazing rehab story. His quality of life now versus 10 years ago is phenomenal.”


In all, Banner lost 40 pounds!