Cynthia's story

patient success stories - stroke - Cynthia Perry

As a municipal transit driver, Cynthia Perry started the day like any other — transporting residents around the city. By shift’s end, she called her mom asking to meet her at the local emergency room. Cynthia was feeling weakness in her left arm and leg all day which left her unable to hold a cup of coffee or fully assist passengers. She knew something was wrong.

A series of scans revealed Cynthia suffered a stroke. She spent days in the hospital, struggling to walk more than 30 feet. Unable to use the left side of her body, doctors recommended Helen M. Simpson Rehabilitation Hospital for its ability to help stroke patients regain independence.

When Cynthia arrived, she had trouble with basic movements, such as reaching, bending and balancing while standing.

A physician-led team of nurses, therapists and aides created a plan that focused on achieving Cynthia’s primary goal — returning home. “I needed that encouragement and therapy,” Cynthia said. I never would have gotten enough therapy at home or even at an outpatient center.”

Our physical and occupational therapists focused on helping Cynthia overcome her deficits. They began by building strength in her arms and legs, especially on her affected left side. At times, Cynthia was discouraged. She feared she would never regain the abilities she had prior to the stroke.

Some days, success was hard-fought. Her therapists played the gentle but tough role of “good cop, bad cop” spurring her into using her left hand. “I needed both their encouragement and support and now I am so happy to be going home.”

Her family was also a source of support and hope during recovery, adding words of encouragement throughout her rehabilitation journey.

When she left Helen Simpson approximately two weeks later, Cynthia could independently walk 200 feet with a rolling walker.  She could also step over a six-inch curb with the walker and take additional steps with supervision. Cynthia was especially proud of her ability to dress herself using a special assistive device to extend her reach.

Now home, Cynthia has returned to her normal routine, surrounded by the love and care of her family.