Stroke patient returns home with regained abilities, independence

Stroke patient returns home with regained abilities, independence

Pictured (l-r) are Nicole Chung (OT student), Kelly Neal (OT), Robert Barrocas (SLP), Michele Frederic, Joel Sechler (PT team leader), and Mayra Calderon (DPT Student).

On May 12, Michele Frederic began noticing difficulty speaking and weakness in her right arm and leg. Soon, she lost the ability to speak, swallow foods with normal consistency, and functional use of her other arm and leg.

Frederic was admitted to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami where she was diagnosed with a basal ganglia stroke, which affects the part of the brain that’s key to movement, perception and judgment.

Upon arriving at HealthSouth, Frederic required assistance walking and fulfilling self-care tasks. She knew she had just embarked on what would be a long road to recovery, but was ready to take every step to get there. With unrelenting effort and her hospital team at her side, she underwent weeks of intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy.

Before her stroke, Frederic’s post-retirement life consisted of her favorite leisurely activities, such as cooking, needlepoint sewing, playing the piano and spending time with her large family and friends. She was determined to go back to that, and made extraordinary progress each day.

Frederic ultimately regained use of her right leg, walked the halls with a hemi-walker, and navigated stairs and obstacles. She graduated from speech therapy with cognitive skills at her prior level of function. She returned to a regular diet and handling self-care tasks on her own, including but not limited to: feeding, dressing, bathing and grooming.

Frederic is thankful for the time she spent at HealthSouth, a hospital that provides comprehensive inpatient rehabilitation services to help patients get back to their independent, daily lives. She is one of the hospital’s many patients who have overcome daunting odds and continued writing their own success stories.

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