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Art Gladfelter: Stroke Care

Art Gladfelter: Stroke Care

Compassionate, Continuous Care

“I'm still here today and alive and doing as well as I can because of UPMC."

Art was celebrating New Year's Eve with his wife when he began to feel unwell.

The next morning — New Year's Day — he couldn't get out of bed. His right arm and right leg weren't working right.

"I didn't know really what was going on with my body," he says. I just had a feeling of, 'What is wrong? What happened?'"

An ambulance rushed him to UPMC Williamsport, where scans revealed he'd had an ischemic stroke.

“I felt that I was in very good hands," Art remembers. "They were doing all they could for me in my moments of uncertainty."

Art spent a month in physical and occupational therapy at UPMC Williamsport. After two months of home therapy, he began therapy once again at UPMC Muncy. He takes physical therapy for his right leg and occupational therapy for his right arm.

Before his stroke, Art — a former pastor — ran 5Ks and walked 10,000 to 12,000 steps per day. Although he doesn't walk as much anymore, the physical therapy has helped him get around better. He walks with a walker and can navigate the four flights of stairs at his house much easier.

“I used to be known as the fellow who walks all around the town," Art says. "I don't do that anymore, but I can still go in our driveway with a walker. I can go good with the walker. The cane is half speed."

The occupational therapy exercises for his right arm and hand also are helping. Art has many hobbies, including model trains, drone flying, and sound recording. He has a model train set in his house, where he spends time with his grandchildren — who call him "Grandpa Train."

"I say I'm at half speed," he says. "I can't rush to do it, but I can get everything done."

Today, Art enjoys spending time with his family: his wife of 55 years, his two sons, and his six grandsons. They go on many family excursions, whether it's a local restaurant, an amusement park, a bowling alley, or a golf course.

Art says he wouldn't be able to do any of it without the care he's received over the years. He's battled many illnesses, from prostate cancer in 1990, to his stroke, to a heart attack two years ago. Every time, he got the treatment he needed.

“I'm still here today and alive and doing as well as I can because of UPMC and the care that they have given to me," he says. "The commitment, the knowledge that they have, the trust that they have in me, and that I have in them. I realize that I wouldn't be where I am today if it wouldn't be for them working with me."

Art didn't choose to have a stroke, but he did choose UPMC.