Sharon Ritchie, post weight loss, and Henrietta Owah, restorative certified nursing assistant

How do you lose 100 pounds?


One step at a time.


It has been quite the journey to improved health for Sharon Ritchie, a resident at Life Care Center of New Market, Virginia. Ritchie came to the facility on Nov. 12, 2013, with atrial fibrillation and an inability to walk because of her weight.


Ritchie needed to have her gallbladder removed but could not have the surgery until she lost weight. She got working on becoming more active.


“Her initial goal was to be able to walk with therapy, which she achieved,” said Patricia Modestino, nurse practitioner at Life Care Center of New Market. “Because of her weight, Sharon was wheelchair- or bed-bound.”


Restorative nursing aides encouraged and supported Ritchie, as did the therapists and the certified nursing assistants. Ritchie asked the CNAs to walk with her daily. She was proactive and went to the activity room for exercises there.


“I worked with Sharon for a full year so she could reach the weight loss goal of 100 pounds,” said Henrietta Owah, restorative CNA. “Sharon still wants to lose 100 more.”


“I wanted to walk again,” said Ritchie. “I’ve regained my independence. I can walk myself to the restroom, get into the transport van for doctor’s appointments and can walk onto the activity bus, sitting in a regular seat, to enjoy facility group outings.”


Now Ritchie presses on to reduce her weight further and improve her strength. Her goal is to walk independently and possibly enjoy visits home.