Community Hospital-Fairfax

Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy

Fairfax, Mound City

(660) 686-2334

Gary Cooper Puts Pain in the Past, Gets Back to the Sideline

Gary Cooper underwent a lumbar discectomy surgery in the fall of 2015. Normally an active and busy person, he was left essentially immobile due to intense pain. Missing being on the sideline of his grandsons’ ballgames was not typical of this involved grandpa.

“I didn’t realize how far down I was when I came out of surgery” Gary described. “I had become dependent on others for a lot of things that I would normally do. I felt that all I had to look forward to was continuous pain.”

This winter, Gary, his family and his physician, Dr. Burke, felt it was time to take a different approach. He was admitted to the Community Hospital-Fairfax Skilled Care Program and scheduled for physical therapy three times a day.

With pride, Gary described the therapy program as pretty intense, but was proud to have met most of the challenges. He credits the skilled care program with its therapy requirements for restoring his quality of life.

“When I went into the hospital I needed pain pills and medications to withstand the pain. The team at the hospital brought me back in a way I never thought possible. Now I have very little pain.”

Despite his circumstances, Gary never lost the desire to make others smile. He called it “keeping them in line” when he asked the nurses’ station for a late night game of pitch or teased the dietary staff about helping him gain weight. No doubt a positive attitude played a key role in his recovery.

“Being a part of changing lives for the better is extremely rewarding to our whole team, from nurses to physical therapists,” Shannon Pruitt, Director of Rehab Services explained. “It is so rewarding to see Gary back on the sidelines exactly where he wants to be.”

 Physical, occupational and speech therapy are offered to skilled and acute inpatients at Community Hospital-Fairfax. Outpatient services are also offered on a daily basis at the hospital and in Mound City for sports injuries, chronic pain, stroke recovery or any other variety of reasons that everyday function may be impaired or delayed.

Questions about these services or others offered at Community Hospital-Fairfax, visit or call (660) 686-2211.