UTMC "Alumni" Stories - Laura Johnson
On September 20, 2008, I had a massive stroke. The EMTs and life flight crew determined that the best facility for stroke assessment and treatment would be UTMC, and they were right! The doctors sedated me for six days to help my body and brain rest and recover. When I was out of sedation, the damage that occurred wasn't minimal. I couldn't move the right side of my body, could barely speak, writing and typing was impossible and I had serious word recall problems.
The therapists came to work with me before my official rehabilitation started. Their kind words and professionalism encouraged me to start exercising the right side of my body, tested me for word recall and the ability to follow directions. After a few days in the stroke unit, I was admitted to the rehab unit, where I worked hard to get my life back. The week that followed was an intense week of physical, speech and occupational therapy. I was able to walk without assistance and my word recall issues were rapidly disappearing. Seven days later, they released me to go home and continue occupational and speech therapy as outpatient.
Mid-November I was deemed good enough to return to work, and today I have no visible effects from the stroke. I'm back to my full-time job, can talk, walk, cook, play piano, drive, anything I wanted to do before the stroke. I'm indebted to UTMC and their amazing stroke and rehabilitation programs. I understand why this hospital is a leader in stroke care.