Making an amazing stroke recovery
It was a normal morning routine for 86-year-old Mary Burke as she dressed and prepared for her day. But, later as she walked through her house where she lived alone, Mary began to feel ill and fell to the floor. Activating a medical alert bracelet, she wore at all times, Mary called for help. She then dragged herself to the backdoor, where she met the paramedics, who rushed her to the local hospital.
Mary experienced a left middle cerebral artery stroke, resulting in a medical procedure to remove a blood clot. Her hospitalization was then complicated when she suffered additional strokes during her stay. After a week in the hospital, she stabilized for rehabilitation. Ready to be independent again, Mary knew exactly where she wanted to go.
Her daughter, Darlene, had participated in therapy at the HealthSouth New England Rehabilitation Hospital Outpatient Clinic in Billerica, Mass. for years. Knowing Darlene had received outstanding outpatient care there, the mother-daughter team chose to continue Mary’s stroke recovery at HealthSouth New England Rehabilitation Hospital at Lowell.
When she arrived at HealthSouth New England-Lowell, Mary could do less than 50 percent of the effort needed to transfer in and out of bed or a chair. She was unable to walk, had swallowing issues and required a feeding tube. She also faced multiple challenges with slurred speech, sequencing and short-term memory loss.
Mary’s rehabilitation team did not let her focus on her challenges. Instead, it helped her work toward achieving her goals, using advanced technologies, innovative treatments and personalized care. After making tremendous gains, Mary was ready for discharge after only three weeks. She could once again make transfers in and out of a bed or chair without supervision, walk (with assistance) and eat on her own.
“Everyone here was so wonderful and so helpful, but I am glad to be going home,” Mary stated.
Mary’s family was amazed at the progress she made in such a short amount of time.