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Photo Editor Takes New Look at Life after Stroke

Cherie Cincilla was close to wrapping up another day working at home as a freelance photo editor when she started struggling to finish an email.

Garbled words and characters appeared on her computer screen. At first, Cherie thought her keyboard was malfunctioning. But when her husband, Timothy Schwarz, entered the room and noticed her having trouble, they quickly learned it wasn’t the keyboard.

“Something was very, very wrong,” recalls Cherie.

The couple rushed to a local hospital. It was a stroke affecting the right side of her body. On the way to the emergency room, Cherie’s condition deteriorated fast.

“I had to yell at her and say, ‘Stay with me, Cherie,’” says Timothy.

After stabilizing and spending a few days in the hospital, the Easton, Pennsylvania, couple started preparing for the next step in Cherie’s stroke recovery. She needed intensive therapy, as she couldn’t stand, shower or eat on her own, and she struggled to remember words.

Timothy consulted with family members, researched options and spoke with a doctor friend; each time, Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network stood out as the place to help Cherie, the couple says.

Cherie was admitted to Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, where she began her stroke rehab immediately. She received care from Good Shepherd physicians who specialize in physical medicine and rehabilitation, plus a steady schedule of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy that got her up and moving, making progress every day.

“I really looked forward to therapy,” says Cherie. “You just feel like you’re at home.”

After making significant strides as an inpatient, Cherie transitioned to outpatient rehab with Good Shepherd, where she continued physical, speech and occupational therapy.

As a result, Cherie’s independence has grown, filling in the holes the stroke took from her. When she was discharged initially from Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital, Cherie was in a wheelchair. Now, she walks on her own.

Cherie showers independently, uses the stairs, plays with her three dogs on the ground and finds her words better in everyday conversation. She’s back to work for a travel magazine, too.

Cherie’s journey has given her a new perspective on life. The way she sees it, she has another chance.

“I’ve met so many people,” says Cherie of the patients and staff at Good Shepherd. “It’s nice to be 50 and be born again. You’re experiencing things again for the first time.”

For more information on stroke rehabilitation, call 1-888-44-REHAB or request an appointment.