Beth's world began to unravel one night without warning. "It began with a headache. At 4:00 a.m. I awoke and felt like my head wasn't connected to my body. I wanted to wake my brother but I couldn't keep my balance and kept falling. I wanted to scream for help, but couldn't hear my own voice. So I just laid in bed and waited for help." Beth has a vague memory of her mother and brother driving her to University Hospital where she was soon admitted to the Neuro-Critical Care Unit. She was diagnosed with a life-threatening hemorrhagic stroke. The right side of her body was paralyzed, her speech was slurred, and she had blurred vision.
Five days later Beth was transferred to the Rehabilitation Center inpatient program for treatment. She received intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy to regain the use of her right hand and leg, and to improve her coordination and thinking ability. At the time of her stroke, Beth was working as a civil engineer. "I love field work and wanted to go back. My job requires a lot of driving, walking and climbing. Everything seemed overwhelming at first. I had to relearn to speak, stand, keep my balance, and walk."
A month later, Beth was ready to go home. "When I got there, I realized that at the hospital someone is always there to help you. At home it really hit me that I needed help. My emotions were so high and I was lonely and scared. I was still in a wheelchair much of the time and didn't want to be a burden to my family and friends. I was so relieved when the case manager from Community Rehabilitation Services came," she says. "My case manager immediately introduced me to my therapists. It was overwhelming how caring the staff was."
The Community Rehabilitation Services team coordinated services, provided hours of therapy and supported me through the process of continued recovery at home. There were many things my therapists did that made it possible not only for me to go back to work, but to return with confidence."
"Every day we have the privilege of helping people move and progress from an incredibly vulnerable state to regaining their dignity. Beth not only regained her confidence and went back to work, she helps other stroke survivors understand the process through several support groups."