At 85 years old, Tony Frittitta copes daily with symptoms of hypertension and painful lymphedema. But his humor is still intact.
“Dieting is just like marriage; it takes a lot of work,” he joked.
Tony is in good spirits because he’s lost nearly 80 lbs. due to the care of his Aurora Health at Home nurse, an innovative telemonitoring program, and the healthy cooking of his lovely wife, Audrey. He jokes about the effort, but in 2018, Tony was morbidly obese and the swelling in his legs from lymphedema landed him in the emergency department. It was very serious.
“The closest I’ve felt to pain like that was when I was hospitalized in the service in Korea,” Tony shared.
When he was sent home from the hospital, Aurora Health at Home armed Tony with a team of resources to care for him from the comfort of his own home. Dana Monreal, RN, Tony’s Aurora Health at Home nurse, provides checkups at his house and has helped teach him and Audrey healthier ways to prepare their food.
“He still loves his Italian, but he doesn’t eat it as often,” Dana said. “It’s a lot of educating. But to get better, it’s up to him. He has a good attitude about it.”
Dana also equipped Tony with telemonitoring equipment totally free of charge, thanks to philanthropic support of Advocate Aurora Health at Home. The equipment enables Tony to monitor his condition from home and saves him regular trips to the doctor.
“His daily vitals are sent to a telemonitoring station and nurses see everything that comes through,” Dana explained. “If something is off, they call me or his doctor. His blood pressure meds were updated because of the telemonitors. It’s like he sees a nurse every day.”
Tony is grateful for not only the equipment, but Dana’s encouragement. “First thing I do when I get out of bed is take my blood pressure and get on the scale. I have all the faith in the world in this program and my nurse. I’d rate her a 5 star.”
Tony is almost at his goal weight of 200 lbs. and his blood pressure continues to drop. That’s all the reward his “5 star” nurse needs. Dana shared, “I’ve gotten really close to them, I feel like part of the family. I’m just happy that he’s happy with himself.”
Charitable gifts to Advocate Aurora Health at Home programs make it possible for patients like Tony to get high-quality care from the comforts of their own home. You can make a gift online.