Gordon Beil was 63 when he noticed numbness on the right side of his body. He realized he was having a stroke and immediately called 911. He was scared, but he knew the most important thing was to keep calm and act fast.
Gordon’s suspicions turned out to be true. He was admitted to the St. Elizabeth Florence hospital and later transferred to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. While in the hospital, his close friends recommended that he go to HealthSouth for his rehabilitation. On his 21st wedding anniversary, Gordon was admitted to HealthSouth Northern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital for stroke rehabilitation.
“We were greeted by a warm and caring staff,” Gordon says of his first day at HealthSouth. “They took the time to explain everything and made us feel at ease.” When he arrived, Gordon was unable to do anything for himself. He could not sit up or swallow. He suffered from expressive aphasia, and speech therapy remained his biggest challenge. When he was in the hospital, he was very depressed,” Gordon’s wife, Sherry, recalls. But at HealthSouth, he had a big smile on his face every day.
Gordon sums up his first day at HealthSouth with one word: Tiring. But, his rehabilitation team encouraged him, reassuring him that “things would slowly improve.” Therapists engaged Gordon in Reo™ therapy, which is a computerized, robot-assisted therapy that retrains arm movements to reduce pain and improve coordination, gait and function. He regained strength in his right arm, and he became more self-confident when he noticed small improvements.
Rehabilitation wasn’t easy for Gordon. But, he persevered, and looked forward to bedtime each night, Gordon’s favorite time of the day, after working hard to reach his goals.
Gordon’s greatest accomplishment while at HealthSouth was taking his first steps. When he returned home after three weeks of therapy, he was able to climb the stairs, much to his wife’s surprise. When speaking of his rehabilitation team, Gordon gives the “thumbs-up” sign and says, “They were emotionally uplifting. They always encouraged me to push myself and do more.”
Today, Gordon continues to improve and still attends outpatient therapy at HealthSouth. He uses the Bioness NESS H200® to electrically stimulate his thumb and finger movements for improved hand function. Sherry comments on how he’s back to telling stories and “learning to communicate better every day.”