17-Year-Old Stroke Survivor Goes Home after 10 Months in Hospitals12/23/2010
Wes Schlauch’s Long Recovery Has Him Walking and Talking Again
Bethlehem, PA -- On Feb. 2, 2010, Wes Schlauch of Breinigsville, Pennsylvania, a vibrant and popular 17-year-old varsity all-star hockey player suffered a severe stroke . The stroke left him almost completely paralyzed and unable to communicate. He depended on a ventilator to assist his breathing, and he received nutrition through tubes.
After nine months of specialized rehabilitation nursing care and physical, respiratory, occupational, speech and recreational therapy at the Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit  in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Wes was discharged to home today. A celebration was held with his family, friends and Good Shepherd caregivers.
Prior to the stroke that immobilized both sides of his body, Wes was a hard-hitting ice hockey fanatic who played for the Hill School in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
Pediatric stroke is not common; for children through age 18, roughly 1 in 9,000 suffers a stroke every year. When Wes arrived at the Good Shepherd Pediatric Unit  last winter, he could not speak, eat or walk. His breathing was assisted by a ventilator. He had double vision.
“Given his initial condition and prognosis, Wes was admitted to the Good Shepherd Pediatric Unit mainly with a goal of training his family to attend to his complex medical needs at home,” says Rosauro Dalope, MD , Attending Physician, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit. “With our pediatric team’s multidisciplinary and family-centered care – and with Wes’s hard work and extended family support – he beat all the odds and pulled off an unbelievable recovery.”
It was a monumental feat, but the Pediatric Unit’s  caregivers and therapists worked in coordination with physician specialists to slowly help Wes regain function. Today, Wes is walking, talking and becoming stronger every day. He can fist pump his friends. He resumed his high school studies. He plays air hockey and Wii fitness and even arm wrestles with his sister.
Wes’ rehabilitation will continue with outpatient therapy, but having him return home is a huge success story for Wes, his family and the care team at Good Shepherd Pediatric Unit.
Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital Pediatric Unit  provides comprehensive rehabilitation for newborns to young adults up to age 18 who have an injury or illness, including neurologic, orthopedic, developmental and cardiopulmonary problems. Care at the 16-bed Pediatric Unit in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, addresses impairments in cognition, mobility, self care, feeding, communication, social-emotional function, sensory processing and academic function.