A Pennsylvania native, Rose, 87, spent most of her adult life in Delaware since she and her husband were in the Coast Guard and both loved to fish. When her husband, and then son (her only child), passed away two years apart, Rose decided to move back to the Pittsburgh area to be near her siblings.
In November 2016, Rose was happily preparing for the Christmas holiday by baking cookies, sewing a festive tablecloth, and decorating her house. As she was putting up her decorations one evening, she decided to go downstairs to take a break. Suddenly she felt very dizzy and fell in the living room. Thankfully, she was able to crawl to a nearby phone and call her friend who rushed over and quickly called an ambulance.
The Path to UPMC
Rose was taken directly to UPMC St. Margaret for care and it was confirmed that she suffered a stroke. She had fallen on her right side so her right arm was very sore, and the stroke affected all motor functions on her right side as well.
After a few days, Rose was admitted to the UPMC Rehabilitation Institute at UPMC St. Margaret so that she could begin physical, occupational, and speech therapy.
“My therapist, Scott, was fantastic,” says Rose. “He really pushed me to see what I can do and to challenge myself. He got me walking with the parallel bars and doing leg lifts. He’s a fisherman as well, so we enjoyed chatting about that.”
Rose participated in occupational therapy where she practiced writing her name, put small beads in a dish, and placed wooden pegs in holes to work on her dexterity and arm mobility. The stroke also affected her speech, so her therapist had her do various facial expressions and sounds to help improve her verbal skills.
“All of my therapists and doctors were very nice, but they also got right down to business,” says Rose. “They told me what to do and I did it because I wanted to get better so I could go home and finish baking my Christmas cookies.”