Health News Articles

Paul Ciardi of Monroe Township: Back on His Feet and Giving Back

Jun 1, 2013
By the spring in his step and the easy grin on his face, you would never suspect that less than two years ago Paul Ciardi was climbing stairs on all fours and regularly relied on a wheelchair.

Today, the 68-year-old easily clocks nearly four miles during every three-hour volunteer courier shift he works at University Medical Center of Princeton at Plainsboro (UMCPP). At home, he’s back to practicing his favorite hobby, carpentry, and regularly working on home repairs, activities he could not have continued doing without his care at UMCPP.

“I’m back to my old self again because of the care I received at Princeton,” says Ciardi, who is semi-retired from his second career as a business consultant and volunteers at UMCPP three times a week. “Before I came to Princeton the doctors all said there wasn’t a chance that I would get back on my feet. They saw things differently here, and after meeting with Dr. David Lamb, the wonderful doctor who performed my surgery, and going through a week in acute rehabilitation, I was up and moving again.”

Ciardi’s determined nature and the support and compassion of the staff at UMCPP’s Acute Rehabilitation Unit helped him recover from the surgery on his back: “I moved slowly at first, but that changed with time,” Ciardi said. Patients in the unit receive individualized treatment plans that include the opportunity to practice daily living skills in an apartment-style suite. A physiatrist and physical, occupational, and speech therapists are available on site to provide care.

“Considering the gift they gave me, I really wanted to give back,” says Ciardi. “The staff is sensational. I really enjoy the work I do interacting with staff and with patients. I want patients to see that there is always hope if you have a positive attitude and take advantage of the opportunities that are available to you. If I had given up, where would I be now?”

For more information about the UMCPP Acute Rehabilitation Unit, call 609.853.7800. For information about volunteer opportunities at UMCPP, call 609.853.6010.
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