Where the Heart Is
There really is no place like home. But at Casa Colina, we try our best to recreate it.
Casa Colina patient Jim Hooper discovered this firsthand. After undergoing
quadruple bypass surgery at a nearby hospital in July 2016, he faced a
difficult choice: return to his Upland residence and receive home nursing
care, or jumpstart his recovery with inpatient rehabilitation.
"I told him, 'You have to go to rehab somewhere, because you will not listen to me at all,'" his wife, Terri, joked. Luckily, Jim agreed. Based on a friend's recommendation, Jim transferred to Casa Colina Hospital with the hope of regaining strength and function through physical and occupational therapies.
"I love to be challenged," he said. "I knew by choosing to go there that I'd really have to work to get better."
But Jim didn't get the smooth start he'd hoped for. A heartbeat irregularity landed him in Casa Colina Hospital's Medical-Surgical Wing, delaying his therapy a few days. A speedy rehabilitation didn't seem such a sure bet.
Still, the Hoopers found comfort in Casa Colina's "bright and airy" atmosphere, said Terri. Jim was especially thankful for the cleanliness of the facilities and the surprising diversity of food options. Like many Casa Colina patients, Jim and Terri incorporated nature into the healing process, paying daily visits to the cozy outdoor fireplace and peaceful Medical-Surgical Wing terrace.
"There were so many nice little areas to sit in," said Terri. "I mean, you're not home, and you want to be comfortable. To me, it means the world to have such a nice facility."
After a seamless transition from Casa Colina's Medical-Surgical Wing to its Acute Rehabilitation Wing, Jim began his therapy, and time passed quickly thanks to a structured routine. Despite missing home, Jim considered his rehabilitation "absolutely essential" to maximizing his recoveryand he was onto something. Studies suggest heart surgery patients who undergo inpatient rehabilitation may experience improved outcomes.
The inpatient setting also afforded Jim 24/7 access to Casa Colina's highly trained clinicians and nurses, helping to minimize fall risk, infection, and other complicationsand giving Terri time to rest and prepare for his return home. After a little over two weeks and much improvement, Jim was able to do just that.
"He wouldn't have progressed that fast if he had just come home from the hospital," Terri said. "There's just no way."
Jim returned to work after just another month, back at the helm of his beloved commercial hardware company, American Bolt & Screw in Ontario. Not long after that, the Hoopers made their first donation to Casa Colina. They continue to sponsor events like the Tribute to Courage Gala and the Casa Colina Golf Classic, and they have provided support for a new Spiritual Garden inside Casa Colina Hospital. For Jim, donating to Casa Colina was an obvious choice.
"I wanted to give back," he said. "They had given me an awful lot."
Knowing not all patients have access to inpatient rehabilitation, Jim and Terri have made Casa Colina's Free and Subsidized Care Fund a target for their philanthropy, helping more individuals receive the services they need, regardless of their ability to pay. Through its Foundation, and with the support of donors like the Hoopers, Casa Colina Hospital and Centers for Healthcare has prioritized expanding access to the same inpatient rehabilitation that improved Jim's recovery and outcome.
For the Hoopers, that rehabilitation meant a faster return to normalcy. And for Jim, normalcy meant running his thriving business. Even at 79, he still goes to the office every day to lead the company he purchased in 1982.
"As I see it, I'm still in good shape mentally and physically. So I'm still enjoying everything," said Jim. "I hope everybody can be that lucky."