My survivor story began just shortly after my 40th birthday, when I had a ruptured brain aneurysm during a work meeting. The procedure I had done is called “coiling”. The surgery was successful and I left the hospital 3 weeks later. My stroke occurred at my 6 month follow up, as the catheter inserted from my groin to my brain dislodged a clot. This catheter was taking photo images to ensure the coiling did not allow more blood into the aneurysm and to monitor the other 2 small aneurysms they discovered. Thankfully the stroke happened on the table and my neurosurgeon gave me injections of the anti-clotting medication as quick as he realized what was happening. However, my right side of my body became paralyzed and my speech returned to an infant level; pointing and grunting to communicate. During the following 3 and 1/2 weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, I worked hard to improve my speech and physical ability.
Working with Amy & Lisa never felt like work, we ALWAYS share tons of laughs. They developed a plan using my strengths and concerns to customize goals for me. They knew the functions I “wanted” to get back to: cleaning and cooking for my family, driving, typing…so they did what they do best, sneak in their invaluable occupational therapy skills into fun, relatable tasks. Don’t take my word for it; try not to have fun with these two gals when you start your home exercises!
My name is John Jones and I am 59 years old. I had a massive stroke in 2010 in which the doctors told my family that I would most likely remain in a vegetative state due to the amount of brain damage. I met Amy and Lisa five years ago when I started my road to recovery and have greatly enjoyed working with them. When I first started therapy I could not walk or move my right arm. Therapy has greatly helped me and over the past few years I have gained the ability of being able to walk with a brace and cane. I can also slightly move my right arm which I was told that I would never be able to do. Amy and Lisa are a joy to work with and I have greatly enjoyed having them help me get small amounts of my independence back.
I am two weeks away from my 75th birthday. My stroke occurred in July, 2015 and affected my left side…shoulder, arm and hand…as well as left leg, ankle and foot. I am right handed, have no speech or language issues. At the time I was a trim, active, healthy grandmother with no diagnosed health conditions, taking no medications. After 5 weeks in acute inpatient treatment and several months with in home VNA services, I was ready for outpatient therapies. One of my home care therapists who knew Amy’s skills as an OT repeatedly urged me to seek her out, stating that, “She can do a lot for you.” She has.
I have greater range of motion and functional use of shoulder, arm and hand: fine motor skills including buttoning,lacing shoes, putting on makeup, folding laundry, washing and putting up dishes, picking up coins, and more. I try to maintain these gains by practicing some of Amy and Lisa’s homegrown exercises as I continue my rehab from home.
I am Kevin Breveleri, and I am 35 years old. I was born with a rare heart defect called L Transposition of the Great Anterior Vessels. Because of this, I have had 3 mitral valve replacements in addition to 8 pacemaker surgeries. I had a stroke when I was 21 years old due to complications from my heart condition which caused a blood clot to go to my head. After my stroke I couldn’t walk, talk, or use my right hand. Since then, I have regained the ability to walk, speak, and move my right shoulder and elbow to some extent. However, I still have very limited functional use of my right hand.Before my stroke I was right-handed. I enjoyed being a scratch golfer and following in my father’s footsteps as a sales representative.
My therapy is always a work in progress and I always look forward to seeing Amy and Lisa. Working out with other people who know what it’s like to have had a stroke is encouraging and keeps us going.