Telehealth and In-Person Rehabilitation Help Retiree with Stroke Recovery

June 15, 2020

Deep down, Meridy Rachor had a feeling she wasn’t making the kind of progress she needed after her stroke.

So, Meridy and her husband, Dick, requested an evaluation with Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network for a second opinion. A few minutes into their first therapy appointment with Good Shepherd, Meridy recalls, the couple locked eyes and nodded in approval.

“We knew before we even finished with the evaluation that we needed to go to Good Shepherd,” Meridy says. She started rehabilitation the following week.

While her cognitive recovery was quicker, the stroke significantly limited Meridy’s mobility. Her body hunched over and she leaned when walking with a cane.

Meridy’s mobility started to improve through visits with the Good Shepherd Physician Group — for pain management and other treatments, including Botox® injections for muscle tightness — as well as physical therapy and occupational therapy.

Then came COVID-19.

When COVID struck, Meridy complied with statewide stay-at-home orders and started using Good Shepherd’s telehealth appointments to continue her stroke rehabilitation.

“I was eager to have some kind of support and to be able to talk to somebody,” Meridy says.

“These telehealth sessions were a godsend for me”

-Meridy Rachor

Telehealth Is ‘Remarkable’

Through virtual physical therapy and occupational therapy appointments from her home in Barto, Pennsylvania, Meridy worked on walking, posture, strength, balance and more.

As a caregiver, Dick was right there with Meridy, helping move their tablet’s camera so her therapists had better views of her exercises. The benefits of telehealth are clear to him, too.

“They can figure out what she’s doing right or wrong,” Dick says. “It’s remarkable. It’s much more effective than people might think it is.”

‘I Absolutely Feel Safe’

After utilizing telehealth, Meridy decided to return to safe, in-person outpatient care with Good Shepherd. She’s screened and her temperature is taken before entering the clinic. Good Shepherd team members, she notes, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, goggles and gloves, as they provide care.

“I absolutely feel safe at Good Shepherd,” Meridy says.

Meridy keeps a positive attitude about her ongoing recovery. While it’s been a long road, she’s walking more, handling household chores such as laundry and cooking meals, and helping with bookkeeping.

“It’s just taking time to heal and build new pathways,” Meridy says. “But I am getting there, and I am bound and determined to get there.”

Telehealth visits are available at Good Shepherd for physician services, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and clinical psychology. Request your virtual or in-person appointment online, call 1-888-44-REHAB or use our live chat.