Patrick's Story: Stroke Recovery

By: Kindred Healthcare

Hi. My name is Patrick and I had a stroke and I spent some time at Kindred Hospital rehab center and the hospital. I’m a restaurant manager and I was at work. I didn’t feel good and my assistant immediately called the ambulance. They took me to Valley Hospital and I was in the emergency room and their care for about a month. Later, they recommended Kindred and that’s how I ended up there. I was first on the hospital side.

He came here for rehab to help him get better and get more independent to go home. His number one goal was always to work on swallowing because he worked in restaurants his whole life and he was a big foodie so him number one goal was to get back to eating regular food and get back on a regular diet. The speech pathologist, Kasey, she was a great cheerleader. There was times you just wanted to give up but she was tremendous. People who have strokes it takes them longer to get their message across, longer to process information and so if you can just stop and listen to them and hear what they have to say and letting them know that you’re there to listen and help them, just taking a little bit of extra time. It’s like you think of the words but you can’t say them.

It becomes very frustrating when someone doesn’t understand you. The number one source of frustration for a stroke patient is they try to communicate and their communication doesn’t always come out clear so they have to repeat themselves over and over and so just having empathy with them, being very patient, telling them you understand their frustration and then providing them with strategies. Once Patrick was given those strategies to make his speech clearer he took them and ran with them and he’s doing really well. Typically the folks who are on the LTAC side are extremely sick and need that extra level of care and then typically once they get them a little bit stronger and they’re able to handle more rehab then they send them over to our side so that we can get them back home or to an assisted living or whenever they came from before so that was kind of his continuum. I think it’s really nice for the patient that they don’t have to get bounced around from place to place.

Essentially to them they see it as they’re just switching rooms so it’s kind of nice because a lot times when patients get transferred from facility to facility they can get more confused, they can get disoriented and it’s just not a pleasant experience so to be able to keep them in one building is really nice. I felt more comfortable of course recognizing the surroundings and the employees, having the same doctor and establishing a rapport. It was very helpful.

Patrick's Story: Stroke Recovery

We just continued the therapy to get him more independent because he was home alone before. The biggest area of progress was definitely with his swallowing because he was NPO, had an NG tube when he first got here. That was removed, we got him back on a regular diet with nectar thick liquids and the water in between meals and he was able to communicate at a conversational level. If I could say I could do something, then she believed me. An employee like Kasey is one in a million. Part of doing my job is helping people and being an advocate for them, making sure that they’re safe and getting the best care, so to me it’s just doing my job but it’s good to hear that I was really was able to help somebody that much. He’s home by himself now. He has some caregivers, home therapy that comes in and helps him but that was always his goal from day one when he got here.

He had just purchased a new home and he wanted to be back home and by himself and he accomplished that. It was a tremendous feeling to be back in my own home. I can feed myself now and I’m fully independent in my house now so I’m very fortunate.

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