The following article was written by David Fansler, who recovered from a stroke at Boone Hospital Center.
I had a stroke on May 28, paralyzing my right side completely. I was air-lifted to Boone Hospital Center from the Lake of the Ozarks.
En route, being strapped in horizontally inside the chopper, I could view below the vast expanse of pasture, woods and farmland and wondered, “How could this happen to me? I’m healthy!”
Upon landing at the hospital, I was quickly taken to the ER, and all sorts of needles, tubes and other monitoring equipment were fastened to me. The ER people, I felt, were trying hard to keep me alive. I then was transferred to the MICU, where the care was excellent. One week later, I was released to the Stroke Rehab Unit where I learned to walk, talk and use my right arm and hand again.
Through unidentifiable pain and anguishing fatigue of my right arm, I lifted a two-pound weight. I thank the Lord for my trust in the therapists who got me through the really hard part, “the beginning.” In time, I was able to raise my right arm above my head and then again with a weight in my hand. Gradually, the fingers remembered to move up and down, making a fist and opening up the hand.
We reminded the right leg (through electro-shock therapy) what it was supposed to do. My success is summed up in the one activity it all boils down to — rehabilitation. This is what it is all about. DON’T STOP! DON’T QUIT!
At Boone Hospital, the therapists won’t let you down. They get into your face and keep you working because this is your new job. I had promised myself that I would walk out of the hospital by July 4. I walked out on July 2. Through tenacious and repetitive movements, all of my fingers move.
My hand gains speed and dexterity weekly. The right foot and ankle were the slowest to respond. Around Sept. 5, my toes actually raised mainly due to leg lifts and daily ligament stretching I forced myself to do. This means that when my ankle finally articulated on its own without the ankle-foot orthosis, it was the first time I felt hope that my natural stride might return.
I hear from many that my progress has been remarkable compared to some. I attribute this progress and attitude/agreement to continue to be a gift that was given me by my physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist, doctors, nurses and others who I had the fortune of making their acquaintance at Boone Hospital Center during this unthinkable adventure into the disabling, humiliating, despairing and helpless event called a stroke.
Thank you, Boone Hospital. You truly did give me back my life.