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From Inpatient Rehab to Home Health, Retiree Makes Steady Progress in Stroke Recovery

It was a normal weeknight, but something seemed “off” to Richard Yeakel.

Richard and his longtime partner, Richard “Dick” Meier, were watching TV in their Macungie, Pennsylvania, home when Dick got up to use the bathroom. Dick appeared disoriented and was wobbly on his feet.

Fearing the worst, Richard called 911. Dick was having a stroke.

Days after the stroke, Dick couldn’t walk, eat solid foods or communicate clearly. Richard was told by hospital staff to prepare to send Dick, 83, to a nursing home — something Richard refused to do.

Following research, consultation with family and friends and a facility tour, Richard instead chose to send Dick to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network to continue his stroke recovery. Dick began inpatient stroke rehabilitation at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown. Within a few days of receiving care from the physician-led team, Dick was stronger and starting to show glimpses of his usual self.

Richard remembers entering the third floor of the Rehabilitation Hospital one day during the first week and being floored by what he saw.

“(Dick’s) sitting in the cafeteria,” recalls Richard, 60. “He’s using a fork. He’s eating chicken and rice. It was like another person was born.”

Healing At Home

Dick continued to make progress to the point where he was close to discharge from the Rehabilitation Hospital. While his stroke recovery was far from over, Richard wanted Dick to receive that additional rehabilitation care somewhere comfortable.

“I really wanted him to come home,” says Richard.

They chose Good Shepherd at Home’s home-health services to help Dick seamlessly continue his recovery at home. Dick needed additional physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and nursing care. While a difficult recovery, Dick’s ability to balance and walk and his overall independence continued to improve each day at home.

“The home services were excellent,” says Dick.

‘How Life Can Change’

The pair has been together for 43 years. A few months after the stroke, as Dick continued his rehabilitation at home, Richard and Dick were married in a small ceremony in front of family, close friends and a handful of new friends from Good Shepherd.

“You start realizing how life can change in a moment,” says Richard. “It was truly a life-altering thing.”

For more information on stroke rehabilitation or Good Shepherd at Home, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422).