Started With a Stroke
At age 54, David, a physicist and computer scientist, had excellent health and a successful career working on Minuteman missiles. David has a vague recollection of the day his life changed: "I was helping my daughter fix the brakes on her car. I had a wrench in my hand when suddenly everything became fuzzy, and I dropped the wrench. My daughter said I was slurring my words. When we went in the house my wife said the side of my face was drooping. The next thing I remember was waking up in the hospital. A blood vessel had burst in my brain, causing a severe stroke."
Regaining Skills That Seemed Impossible
"I can honestly say that all of my therapists at the Rehabilitation Center, both inpatient and outpatient, helped me to learn new skills that at first seemed impossible." After a stroke, many people struggle to communicate. David was no different. But, David demonstrated great courage and commitment to recover. At the beginning, he couldn't read or carry-on a conversation and his left side was paralyzed. But through hard work and determination, he fought to regain skills and independence. David never missed therapy and today he can carry on a long conversation and is reading again.
David recently took up photography. Because he couldn't find a camera with left-handed controls, he learned to hold one at an angle. "The occupational therapists taught me to adapt and make things work for me. I love to photograph weddings. My speech and dexterity have improved so that I can get everyone situated for the pictures. I can even use humor to get people to smile.”
"If you could bring a person to our rehab facility for just one reason, that would be for empowerment—to help them gain as much control as possible over their life."