Living life to the fullest

Living life to the fullest


Photo courtesy of Gaylord Hospital.

Life after a traumatic injury or illness might never be the same. But it still can be lived to the fullest. Helping such patients recover to this level is the mission of Gaylord Hospital.  

“It’s not good enough to say you’re going to go home and watch TV. If you want to be an athlete, or return to something else that gives your life meaning, we’ll help you achieve your goals,” says Tara Knapp, Vice President of Development, Public Relations and Marketing at Gaylord. 

Licensed as a Long Term Acute Care Hospital, Gaylord treats patients who were released from short-term hospitals but still have long roads to recovery. The patients have medically complex injuries and illnesses such as spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, often combined with other conditions. 

“What makes us so special is our depth of expertise for very specialized illnesses,” says Knapp. 

Gaylord is also renowned for assisting patients long after they leave the hospital. Its adaptive sports program draws people with physical disabilities from all over New England. It offers equipment for more than a dozen games and activities, including rugby, waterskiing, rock climbing, and golf. The hospital also has a garage filled with adaptive bicycles and other equipment, and even runs a para-triathlon team.

“We’re all about living life to the fullest extent possible,” Knapp says.

Set on a 500-acre campus in Wallingford, Gaylord Hospital was founded in 1902 as a tuberculosis sanatorium by the New Haven County Anti-Tuberculosis Association. After medical advances successfully curbed tuberculosis, Gaylord turned its expertise to other forms of rehabilitation beginning with chronic pulmonary disorders, then stroke, brain injury and spinal cord injury. The hospital's programs grew over the years as Gaylord established itself as a premier long-term acute care hospital. 

Like most hospitals, Gaylord relies on a combination of funding from private insurance, Medicare, and philanthropy. Recent funding includes grants from the Thomas Nesbit, Jr. and Anna C. Nesbit Fund and the Robert B. Dodds Estate Fund at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. 

For more information, visit Gaylord's giveGreater profile.

Did you know? 

Gaylord has treated many well-known individuals including American playwright Eugene O'Neill.

This story is part of the Inspiration Monday story series produced by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.

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