Stroke Survivor: A new life role through rehabilitation

Stroke Survivor: A new life role through rehabilitation

Pictured above: Rob Meador, a stroke survivor from Lincoln, Nebraska, and 2017 Lincoln Campus GOAL Award recipient, uses the Lokomat, a robotic gait trainer, to retrain his body to walk again.

Stroke Survivor. 

Two powerful words that label many of the patients at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, someone in the United States has a stroke every 40 seconds. 

The effects of a stroke, as defined by the American Stroke Association is when a vessel in the brain is blocked by a blood clot or ruptures, can range from difficulty speaking and vision problems to loss of mobility.

That’s why rehabilitation is an important part of recovery. Madonna’s locations in Lincoln and Omaha each have dedicated units with specially trained clinicians who work to help each individual regain their highest level of independence.

They know stroke survivors are also mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, coworkers and neighbors.

A combination of state-of-the-art technology, physical, occupational and speech therapies, along with individualized services like vision, and work and community re-entry, help adults and children in each stage of recovery.

Last year (July 2015-June 2016), Madonna’s Lincoln Campus served 576 persons with stroke, including 95 people who were under age 65. (Source: 2016 Fast Facts)

Patients who have received care at Madonna and shared their own stories of progress have the best words to say about stroke recovery:

“I couldn’t have done anything I did without [my Madonna care team], without their encouragement.” - Rob Meader, of Lincoln, Nebraska

“You make up things in your mind—the worst case scenario—but if you work hard you can get through those. And you don’t have to accept what society thinks are your limitations. You can blow through them and do things you never thought were possible before stroke.”  - Keith Fickenscher, of Lincoln Nebraska

“I would tell somebody, give it a chance. Don’t just put it on the back burner. Go ahead and give it a chance. And give it whirl because you never know if you’ll be able to pick up on the things they’re touching you with or the things that they’re working with you on. They might be able to do something.” – Heather Hall, of Kearney, Nebraska

“Fight. Fight where you’re at because tomorrow is a whole ‘nother day. Fight.” – Contessa Siders, of Sioux City, Iowa

These stroke survivors each had a different journey of recovery but the same goals—to regain their highest level of independence and fully participate in life.  They are goals Madonna is dedicated to helping each stroke survivor achieve.

As part of Stroke Awareness Month in May, make sure you know the warning signs of a stroke.  Follow these guidelines from the American Stroke Association:

Use the letters in “fast” to spot stroke signs and know when to call 911:

F – Face drooping

A – Arm weakness

S – Speech difficulty

T – Time to call 911

For more information, visit www.strokeassociation.org

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