"Angels" in the Healthcare Field Get Stroke Patient Back in the Game

9/13/2016

Roger DunnIt took a team of inpatient rehabilitation “angels” at AnMed Health Rehabilitation Hospital to help Roger Dunn, 55, relearn how to walk after his stroke on April 26. That morning, Roger recalls waking up with an intense headache and blurred vision, and decided a doctor’s visit was in order. Roger was sent to the emergency room where he learned he was having a stroke at that moment. Everything was a blur until he woke up in the intensive care unit of a local hospital where he spent several days. Once moved to a standard patient room, he realized something was truly wrong.

“I remember seeing a friend come to visit me in my room and when they tried to sit me up, I fell over to the side,” said Roger. “I just remember the look on his face.”

Unable to move the left side of his body and experiencing double vision, Roger entered AnMed Health Rehabilitation Hospital in a wheelchair on Sunday, April 26 with the goal of returning to his outdoor hobbies, six grandchildren and an active, independent lifestyle. His rehabilitation program, including occupational and physical therapy, made him quickly realize he would need to take some small steps before he could take the big ones.

“I was told that if I was willing to work, I would go places,” said Roger. “It was work, but they made it fun.”  

Roger’s determination through the small steps helped him progress from using a wheelchair, to a walker, to a cane and then racing hospital staff down the hall as a part of his therapy. On May 17, he walked out of inpatient rehabilitation at AnMed Health Rehabilitation Hospital with the assistance of a walker, but he was not finished with his rehabilitation journey. Initially, Roger continued outpatient rehabilitation at the hospital first for three days a week, and advanced to just two days, doing jumping jacks and jogging down the hallway.

“I was a baseball player and like they say, it’s not over till it’s over,” said Roger. “I plan to continue to get better through outpatient until I’m back where I was.”

Roger has since had two younger friends who have also experienced a stroke and says he would recommend anyone to go to AnMed Health Rehabilitation Hospital.

“They taught me to walk again and I’m just very thankful,” said Roger. “The staff at AnMed Health Rehabilitation was on the ball. They’re angels.”

With comprehensive, patient-centered therapy, rehabilitation is a powerful force for patients overcoming challenges after an illness or injury. According to the recent adult stroke rehabilitation guidelines released by the American Heart Association, whenever possible, stroke patients should be treated at an in-patient rehabilitation facility rather than a skilled nursing facility. While at an in-patient rehabilitation facility, a patient participates in at least three hours of rehabilitation a day from physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech therapists. Nurses are continuously available and doctors typically visit daily. An in-patient rehabilitation facility may be a free-standing facility or a separate unit of a hospital.

SOURCE: AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION, INC. 

Source: HealthSouth

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Dawn Cunningham

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