In February of this year, 45-year-old Ryan Wheeler suffered a brain stem stroke. The days and months ahead would prove challenging for Ryan. When Ryan came to Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Huntington in mid-February, he needed assistance to carry out bathing and dressing tasks and was only able to take a few steps. His swallowing function was severely impaired, rendering him unable to eat or drink by mouth. A feeding tube was placed to provide him with nutrition and hydration, and his therapists developed a plan to help him reach his goals.
Encompass Health speech therapist Kristin Norris and stroke survivor Ryan share more about his experience in an interview with WSAZ. “[Having a stroke] – it’s life changing. It makes you realize really quick you’re not super human,” Ryan said. “I got in with Encompass Health of Huntington and took an aggressive approach. I started doing therapy as soon as possible…I think it makes a difference to be really aggressive in your rehab and to start as soon as possible.”