Herlie Leffew suffered a cerebellar stroke in November 2021, which impacted his vision. He came to Life Care Center of Hixson, Tennessee, for physical, occupational and speech therapies.
“A cerebellar stroke is one of the least common types of stroke, but research also states that these types of strokes are very dangerous and may cause serious complications,” explained Josh Haislip, director of rehab. “The cerebellum is a part of the brain that influences balance, coordination and eye movement.”
In addition to helping Herlie strengthen his mobility skills, balance and activities of daily living like bathing and dressing, therapists tailored their interventions to address his vision deficits. They worked on visual tracking (following things or movements with the eyes), vestibular ocular reflex exercises (working with the brain, eye and inner ear in vision), head turns holding gaze, saccades (rapid eye movement between different points) and other exercises to incorporate better vision during daily activities such as walking.
Herlie made significant improvements in his self-care, mobility and vision.
“I can definitely tell I am doing a lot better!” Herlie said. “I think that I am more capable now of taking care of myself and being more careful. They worked on my vision with exercises, and they were demanding/challenging me in the right ways. After the first visual treatment, I could tell that the whole room was lighter, and I could instantly tell an immediate benefit to the visual-focused therapy. Now my vision problems are better, as if I had never had a stroke!”
Herlie was able to return home.