Sabrina's story

Sabrina Davenport high fiving her therapists.

In the blink of an eye, Sabrina Davenport’s life took an unexpected turn when she woke up one Saturday morning and couldn’t move her right leg. An accountant at a manufacturing company, Sabrina cherished her moments with family, enjoying trips to the beach and exploring new places. Little did she know that a stroke would alter her life’s trajectory and test her strength.

“It came out of nowhere. I woke up and had no mobility in my right leg, but it came back the following day,” Sabrina recalled. She worked all week without issue, but that weekend, the mobility in her right leg disappeared again. This time, it didn’t bounce back. She knew something was wrong.

After evaluation and initial treatment for a stroke at her local hospital, Sabrina and her husband choose Helen M. Simpson Rehabilitation Hospital for her recovery journey so she would be close to her family. The stroke left her with significant weakness in her right arm and leg, rendering her unable to walk or maintain balance during everyday tasks. Simple activities like getting dressed, using the toilet and even getting in and out of bed became challenging.

At the rehabilitation hospital, Sabrina’s therapy team crafted a comprehensive plan to help her reclaim her life. Undergoing physical, occupational, speech and respiratory therapies, Sabrina engaged in an array of exercises using techniques, technologies and equipment tailored to her needs.

Physical therapy focused on putting weight on her right leg to improve its strength. Innovative devices, like the Eksoskeleton robotic device, were employed to retrain her body to walk and reinforce a correct walking pattern. Occupational therapy emphasized dressing for her lower body and safe transferring in and out of the shower. Through these efforts, Sabrina’s standing balance and awareness of her body improved significantly, allowing her to lift her leg into the shower which she hadn’t been able to do previously.

Sabrina shared that her commitment and faith in God helped guide her recovery. The support of her family, including her mother, husband and daughter, played an important role in Sabrina’s progress. They all participated in family training to understand what to expect when Sabrina came home, and how to best help her.

Sabrina’s breakthrough moment arrived when she felt sensation in her right leg return during a leg exercise. “I can’t describe the joy I felt. It was my ‘ah-ha’ moment,” Sabrina said. “ The therapists pushed me hard, and I needed that. They knew what I required to get better, and I truly appreciate them for helping me,” she said.

After two weeks of inpatient rehabilitation, Sabrina was able to walk independently with only occasional steadying assistance, and get in and out of a car and pick up objects from the floor with the assistance of a walker for stability. Sabrina’s focus remained on achieving a full recovery, and she is eager to embrace every step of the journey. “Life is too short. I’ve learned to take care of myself and truly listen to my body,” she shared, offering advice to other potential patients and their families.