After a stroke hit Alberto Torres on his left side, he could not take care of himself, and he came to Wooldridge Place Nursing Center in Corpus Christi, Texas, on July 14, 2015, for rehabilitation.
When Torres arrived, he was unable to walk or even sit up in bed, let alone do daily self-care tasks like taking a shower or brushing his teeth. The stroke had also affected his ability to communicate, and he could not articulate words.
Therapists at the facility began working with Torres to help him recover. Physical and occupational therapists met with him six days a week and worked with him on retraining his muscles. They used neuromuscular electrical stimulation on his left arm and leg to assist with this reconditioning, and as the weeks went by, Torres increased his strength and range of motion. Eventually, he was able to walk with a walker and could dress, feed and groom himself.
Speech therapists met with Torres five days a week and worked with him on his communication and swallowing challenges. In addition to using traditional exercises, they used VitalStim® electrical stimulation to help prime his throat muscles for speech and swallowing. By the end of his stay, he was able to swallow normally and use basic words again. He used cards and gestures to communicate further.
“Therapy here is what has moved me in the direction of my personal goal of walking and speaking again,” Torres said. “Everyone has been kind and respectful and has made me feel very welcome.”
“Mr. Torres’ ‘get-it-done’ attitude and hard work in therapy helped him overcome many obstacles and achieve many of his goals,” shared Sonia Silvas, occupational therapist assistant. “In his mind, nothing was going to stop him.”
Torres returned home on Sept. 15, 2015, and is continuing therapy on an outpatient basis.