When a stroke affected Larry Taylor’s left side, he came to Life Care Center of Charleston, South Carolina, on Dec. 10, 2017, for rehabilitation.
Not only was Taylor dealing with the aftereffects of the stroke, but he was also still healing from a knee replacement surgery he had had a month before his stroke.
“When I got here, I could barely stand,” said Taylor.
Taylor also needed extensive assistance with a lot of his daily routine activities, including his grooming, bathing and getting dressed. He had difficulty with balance, walking, speaking and swallowing as well.
The physical therapy team worked with Taylor to increase his strength, balance and mobility, especially integrating his left side in all his functional tasks. They used the Biodex balance machine to help reduce his risk of falls and targeted his strength training to emphasize his left side.
The occupational therapy team focused on helping him take care of himself independently again, through a combination of stroke-recovery electrical stimulation and activities of daily living sequencing. After four weeks of that training, they switched to focusing on elbow and flexion/extension so he could use his arms and hands better. Stretching exercises helped him achieve greater range of motion.
Speech therapy worked on getting his mouth and throat working smoothly again for talking and swallowing. Therapists used neuromuscular electrical stimulation to help his facial nerves for movement, as well as oral stretching exercises and oral motor exercises.
“Now my family can understand me on the phone,” said Taylor. “My arm went from a dead fish to where I can now hold my wife’s hand. This place makes you feel like family – all the therapists are awesome! I wanted to be able to walk out of here, and now I am going to do so!”
On March 20, 2018, Taylor did indeed walk out of the building on his way home with his wife. Per his request, he walked out to the song “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban.