Lloyd Anoa’i doesn’t toss around compliments like he did his World Wrestling Federation rivals in the ring for 35 years. But the 50-year-old, whose first cousin is movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, won’t hold back when praising St. Luke’s Sacred Heart’s Hospital’s Acute Rehabilitation Center (ARC) for helping him back on his feet after a recent total hip replacement.
For Anoa’i, a mountain of a man, who stands 6’2” and weighs 390 lbs., and whose ring names have been the Tahitian Savage and the Great Alofa, rehab was more involved because of other chronic health issues that have plagued him for years. He suffers from diabetes and kidney disease, which might have complicated and delayed his recovery if not for the attention and extraordinary skills of his ARC caregivers.
Anoa’i says the doctors, nurses and therapists on the inpatient rehab unit treated him with compassion and professionalism, and for that, he’s thankful beyond measure.
“They were all great,” he says, “They each gave 110 percent to help me.”
Internal medicine specialists Iqbal Sorathia, MD, and Meena Agarwala, MD, ensured his blood sugar stayed in a safe range. His renal specialist, Dhaval Sureja, MD, adjusted his medicine and prescribed a diet that was low in sodium, which improved his kidney function. His nurses “took great care of me, making sure I had all my medications, and they checked my vitals all the time to make sure I was good.”
“Thanks, also, to Dr. Jason Davis, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist, for his concerns and always making sure everything was ok with me,” Anoa’i adds.
Both the physical therapists and occupational therapists were patient with their celebrity American Samoan patient. He gives heart-felt kudos to Shannon, Bri, Marci and “big Ed.” They helped him gain strength, range of motion and the ability to walk and relearn how to dress himself and perform other activities of daily living.
Toward the end of Anoa’i’s two-and-a-half week in-hospital stay on the ARC, his therapists again went a few steps further. They taught his teenage son, Keanu, how to help his father perform his rehab exercises at home, making the transition from hospital to home smooth and flawless.
He’s taking to heart the care he received and the knowledge he gained in the ARC, as he moves ahead one step at a time to get himself fully mobile and healthy again.
“They got me back on my feet, and now it’s up to me to keep on the right track.”
He plans to grapple in the ring again, once he’s healed and in fighting shape, and he’s got a few movies to act in and other professional possibilities to pursue. And along the way, he hopes to find opportunities to give a shout-out to St. Luke’s for all the ARC staff did for him.
“I can’t thank them all enough for their kindness and respect,” he says.