Resident Bill North is walking again and on track to go home with his wife, Marsha, after a stroke left him with aphasia and impairment on the right side of his body.
Bill suffered a stroke in April, and doctors discovered an embolism blocking his left carotid artery and two brain bleeds. He was put on a ventilator and given a stint.
When Bill first came to Life Care Center of Cleveland, he was unable to walk independently. He could not move his right arm or leg, and he spoke in single words. He also had trouble swallowing.
“When he first came here, he was totally dependent with two of us to transfer,” said Kelly Newbould, physical therapist assistant. “He could not really walk.”
However, occupational and speech therapists worked together to help Bill regain independence.
Occupational therapists worked with Bill on his balance and ability to stand and walk. They gave him neuromuscular re-education, proprioception exercises and vibration therapy. Speech therapy gave Bill response elaboration treatment and worked with him on semantic features analysis and word-finding strategies to help build his semantic network and quicken his word retrieval. They also worked with him on swallowing.
Participating in therapy five times a week has helped a lot. Today, Bill can initiate movement in his right leg, and he is walking up to 170 feet with a quad cane. He is transferring with a little help and can speak in full sentences and carry a conversation again.
“I feel like I’m getting my husband back,” said Marsha. “And I am so, so thankful.”
Bill is on track to be discharged from Life Care on August 23, and he is very eager to go home. He is especially looking forward to returning to his living room, his dog, Daisy, and to the movies with Marsha.
“I’m excited,” he said about being discharged.
“We’ve had an incredible staff here working with him,” said Marsha. “As a matter of fact, I have hired some of them [CNAs] outside of work hours as caregivers with me, and they have been extremely supportive and very attentive to us.”
We are so excited for Bill, and we wish him all the best as he continues his journey back to independence.