David's Stroke Inpatient Rehab Patient Story
The Challenge: Heart Problems and a Massive Stroke
When heart problems and a massive stroke put him in a coma, David went to the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC McKeesport.
In June of 2011, David was 47 when a tooth infection spread to his heart causing him to need a valve repair.
Once he arrived at the emergency room at UPMC McKeesport, doctors placed him on a ventilator and stabilized him.
That same day, David flew by helicopter to UPMC Shadyside. A CT scan done there revealed that side effects from the infection had caused a massive stroke.
David spent about a month in a coma in the ICU.
Doctors transferred him to a long-term acute-care facility, where he came out of the coma in mid-August. He stayed for another month or so until he was stable enough for the next level of rehab.
The Path to UPMC for Intense Stroke Rehab
In October, David moved to a skilled nursing and rehabilitation center, but wasn't walking or responding very quickly to treatment.
When the therapists felt that David was ready for more intensive rehab, they suggested a few inpatient rehab centers in Pittsburgh.
David and his mother, Ruth, decided on the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC McKeesport. The location was convenient and they were familiar with the hospital and staff.
“My mother lives close to UPMC McKeesport, and she was able to visit me every day. She also used to work there. It really is a first-rate place. My nurses were outstanding and all of the therapists were great,” David says. “I still go visit them from time to time.”
“When he was in the hospital after the stroke, doctors didn’t think he would live. And, if he did, they said he wouldn’t walk or talk. The nurses and physical therapists at the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute were the ones that got him to stand up and walk.”
The Results: Improving After Outpatient Therapy
David went home in May of 2012.
He continued outpatient physical, occupational, and speech therapy at UPMC McKeesport for a few months. He worked with the same therapists he saw during his inpatient rehab stay.
David still can't use his left arm or hand, but he can move them. And he’s seen a lot of improvement over the last few years, which he and Ruth ascribe to the care David received at UPMC.
He's now able to walk with a quad cane and is still doing at-home rehab with a personal therapist.
“For him to even be able to dress himself and walk around is a major accomplishment,” Ruth says. “If it hadn’t been for the right people at the right time at UPMC, he probably would not be where he is today.”
“We’d recommend the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC McKeesport to anyone.”
*David’s mother, Ruth, is a retired UPMC staff member.
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