GREENVILLE — To look at him roaming the halls of Greenville Health and Rehab (formerly Heartland of Greenville), one would think Aaron McNutt was a visitor.
He’s not. He’s been a resident there for three months-plus.
McNutt has gone through a lot medically and physically during the past year, yet he is trying to pay it forward by visiting with other residents there and helping out when he can while he gets his issues resolved.
He has already gone three major surgeries and, under a new doctor’s care, may not have to have anymore unless he doesn’t heal.
“A year ago, the first of October, I kept going to the emergency room,” said the former truck-driver. “I was losing weight and hurting terribly inside. I found out I was out of postassium and spent three days in the ICU at the hospital. They pumped me all back full but don’t know how it all got out of me.”
He went back to driving his truck and, in less than two months, he was out of potassium again.
“I couldn’t get any pain relief,” he said. “I had to fight through it. Doctors went back in and that’s when Kathy Miller, my neighbor, became my mother in life.”
He said the third time this happened, he felt it coming on.
“Kathy came over and I couldn’t move or walk,” he said. “Then, my cousin, Kathy (not Miller) rushed me back to the hospital. There was a hole in my colon and they opened up. My organs were shutting down. They put me in emergency surgery and patched up the hole. So I was dehydrated, and they put a pic line in. They took out I don’t know how many inches of my colon and I wore a colostomy bag on the one side and a catheter, plus another tube on the other side. I guess I caught an infection and they were filling me full of fluids. Then I was so swollen I couldn’t walk or anything. They started the process of getting water off and taught me how to walk again. I started out in a wheelchair. What I’ve been told it’s diverticultis and not cancer. I spent 26 or 27 days in ICU, after which I could walk with a cane.”
McNutt was placed in another nursing home for rehabilitation.
“They taught me how to do my colostomy bag and got me to walk on my own and put a little bit of weight,” he said. “I still couldn’t get an appetite.”
More and more things were going awry for McNutt, so much that the other nursing home wouldn’t take him back, according to him. Then, he got in contact with Greenville Health and Rehab.
“If it weren’t for this place here I wouldn’t be where I am right now,” he said. “I have a retired doctor handling my care.”
His new doctor told him he shouldn’t have to have a fourth surgery but wants to let the wounds he has now heal and that it could take up to a year.
“I’ve lost everything. This has cost me my whole life,” he said.
McNutt said his monetary woes came after he lost three special women in his life. In recent years his mother, Carol Ann (Wentworth) Clawson, died July 17 and his ex-wife, Ina, died three months to the day of his mother’s birthday. His grandmother, Mary Ann Wentworth, also passed away around that time.
“I lost three good women in a short amount of time,” he said. “Dad took his life in 1983, and I struggle with that.”
McNutt, who turned 55 on Oct. 18, stopped working to get his wife on the mend in another state out west before her passing. He filed bankruptcy and lost his home.
“I lost all my muscles…everything and I’m on a lifting restriction,” he said. “I’m willing to work, but I’m basically done with trucking.”
McNutt, who said he is now on anti-depressants because of his problems, was raised in a nursing home as his mother was director of nursing. So, he feels at home at Greenville Health and Rehab.
He helps other residents with their therapy and brings them coffee. He is paying it forward.
“I help mount TVs and program them, help with bingo and talk with residents,” he said. “Mentally, it helps me more than it does them. I grew up dealing with elderly people. I enjoy the elderly.”
He just has at least one more obstacle to go before he can get better.
“I’m no more than a newborn baby,” he said. “I have nothing.”
McNutt, born in Darke County but raised in Kansas, worked in the trucking industry for 36 years.
He said he misses golfing and going fishing; otherwise, he’s has a temporary home, until his luck and health change for the better.
Contact Darke County Media Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-569-4315, ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.