Back on the dance floor

It’s not unusual for nursing home staff to help a resident walk again. But when that resident has a rare neurodegenerative disease and wants badly to not just walk but to dance at her son’s wedding, that’s a goal requiring true teamwork.

Pruitt Health Pickens in South Carolina delivered for Regina Clardy, 49, who had resigned herself to hitting the dance floor only in her power wheelchair. Pruitt, Second Wind Dreams, and Pruitt’s Toccoa Pharmacy pitched in for additional therapy and the equipment Clardy needed to sway for 90 seconds of Rascal Flatts’ “My Wish” on March 17.

This was the “big day” Clardy very much needed, according to staff.

Clardy has multiple system atrophy, which eventually caused inability to move her arms and legs and brought her to Pruitt late last year. “When she first came, she was very withdrawn, watching Netflix in the dark,” said activities director Danielle Merck. “When we told her we were going to try and make this happen … the difference was night and day. She is out of her room every day, talking to everyone.”

Keys were special braces on her feet and a gait belt her son, Brandon, used to support her.

Through Pruitt’s Committed to Caring contest and a partnership with Second Wind Dreams, Clardy also received a limousine ride, a spa day and lunch at her favorite restaurant.