Mac — Physical Therapy Patient Story​

After suffering a massive stroke the day after Father’s Day 2012, Mac woke up in the ICU to the words, “You’re lucky to be alive.”

Mac’s entire right side was paralyzed from the stroke but he was determined to walk again. After several weeks in the hospital, he began therapy at CRS Chapel Harbor where he re-learned how to pick up small items, place things on a shelf, put items in the refrigerator, and drive a car simulator. He eventually learned how to walk with a cane and use the elliptical and treadmill.

“Everyone who participated in my rehabilitation worked me very hard,” said Mac. “I received physical and occupational therapy during the day and then I’d continue doing exercises on my own at night. This served me well because I regained my strength and I can drive myself again, which is a huge relief.”

Mac’s therapists taught him exercises and stretches that he could do at home, so that he could regain his former abilities and get back to doing what he enjoys. As a community outreach liaison for the Woodland Hills School District, Mac connects the school with the parents and the community.

“My CRS therapists came to my school and explained to my colleagues and the schoolchildren what had happened to me,” said Mac. “We then demonstrated the exercises they had me do during therapy, which taught the children about rehabilitation after a stroke. I was so impressed that my therapists took the time to come to the school to teach the kids and show them what I’m going through.”

In the mornings before school begins, Mac now walks up and down the hallways for exercise. He credits all of his doctors and therapists for the progress he has made since his stroke.

“The key to a successful recovery is to keep pushing yourself and telling yourself you can do it,” said Mac. “But having great therapists like mine really makes all the difference. I’m lucky to be alive, and lucky to have received their care.”

Read more about the physical therapy program at UPMC Centers for Rehab Services.

​​Join the UPMC Centers for Rehab Services email list


UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences | Supplemental content provided by Healthwise, Incorporated. To learn more, visit www.healthwise.org

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

Pittsburgh, PA, USA | UPMC.com