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Good Shepherd Helps Woman on Journey of Recovery from Stroke

June 11, 2019

Maryann Rowe is climbing her way back to health, thanks to the skilled team at Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital.

One morning in May 2018, a stroke left Maryann confused and unable to move her right side. An artery in her brain became blocked by a blood clot, attacking the area that controls speech and movement on her right side.

When Maryann fell out of bed, her husband, Tom, knew something was desperately wrong; he quickly called 911 – a response that likely saved his wife’s life or spared her from serious, permanent disability.

Following emergency treatment at an area acute care hospital, the 75-year-old woman remained there for six months but didn’t receive the therapy she needed to progress in her recovery.

When the hospital wanted to transfer her to their rehab facility, her husband instead chose to move Maryann to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital.

“We had heard such good things about Good Shepherd; we felt it was the best place for Maryann,” says Tom Rowe, of Bethlehem.

From the start, he was sure he had made the right decision.  

Good Shepherd’s admissions team patiently walked the couple through the admissions process and secured Maryann a bed right away on the Brain Injury Unit.

Good Shepherd’s physical, occupational and speech therapists, along with her physicians, helped Maryann regain her strength, coordination and the ability to speak and walk again.

“She worked very hard,” said Nicole Weaknecht, PT, DPT, Maryann’s physical therapist.

With patience and persistence, Maryann’s therapists taught her to shower, dress herself and perform other routine activities of daily living.

“We were really impressed with the rehab staff and facility,” Tom said. “They were strict yet very patient with Maryann. And they welcomed me to come and see how she was progressing during therapy.”

“Maryann needed total assistance from two therapists to walk when she first came to us,” says Nicole, “and when she was discharged she was able to walk with a rolling walker and only minimal assistance from a therapist.”

After five weeks of intensive rehabilitation at Good Shepherd, Maryann was discharged to a skilled nursing facility near her home, where she continued to improve the functions that the stroke nearly took from her.  

The couple is grateful to Good Shepherd for their expert and compassionate care, which started Maryann on her road to recovery.

“We thought Good Shepherd was the right place to recover,” said Tom.

For more information about how Good Shepherd can help you or a loved one recover from a stroke, call 1-888-44-REHAB (73422).

The American Heart Association recommends using the acronym F.A.S.T. to remember the warning signs of a stroke:

Face is drooping.
Arms are weak.
Speech difficulty.
Time to call 911.