On October 16, 2019, I had surgery for pinched nerves in my neck, by a well known surgeon, Dr. Mark Shaffrey, at the University of Virginia Hospital. After the surgery, I was transferred to Encompass Health, formerly Health South, in Princeton. I would just like to say I am proud to know we have such facilities as these in our state. 

The first thing I might comment on is the food. Most people say, “Oh, hospital food.” And my comment is the food was not good; the food was outstanding with a choice of what you want for three times a day. If she wasn’t deceased, I would think that my mother was in the kitchen making the dishes. 

As for my care, they were there with a click of a button. I would apologize anytime I had to call for service, but they would always say, “That’s what we are here for.” Before my surgery, I could hardly stand alone without help.

On my first day of therapy, I was introduced to Heather, my occupational therapist. After the introductions, her first question was, “What is your primary goal?” My answer to her was, “I want to dance with my wife again,” which she wrote that goal on the white board chart in my room.

My  physical therapist was Joni, another wonderful young lady. Her job, along with Heather, was to get me moving in the many exercises. Joni watched me very carefully, not to fall. Anytime I was walking in front of her, without my knowledge at first, she had her finger in my belt loop.

On my second day, Heather told my group, “Nick wants to be able to dance with his wife again, and we are starting today to make sure he gets to do that before he leaves here.”

Somehow she found out that I like to do the Polka. To make this short, by the fourth day she had me doing the Polka with my wife. 

Again, I think we are very privileged to have this facility in our area.

Nick Ameli, Jr.


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