The following q & a is with patient Daniel Ford. Daniel came to MedStar NRH this summer for inpatient rehabilitation after he suffered a stroke on a bus. Daniel relives the terrifying incident but also his excellent experience in rehabilitation getting him back to the life he wants to live.
Q: How did you end up in the hospital?
I had a stroke August 2nd in the late afternoon. It happened on the circulator bus on the way to the hospital when my left side went out.
Q: What changes did the stroke cause?
It caused the whole left side of my body to go out, to be in a vegetable type of state for some time. I couldn’t swallow, could barely breath, could barely see. Thinking was very hard to do, talking was hard. My face was drooping and hanging down. The arm on the left side would pop out. Life changing changes
Q: What is one of the most beneficial things about therapy?
Oh, the staff! The getting out of the bed actually standing up and moving about and seeing other people work out in the atrium. Being mobile period, to get up and take a shower, to get up and use the bathroom, to get up and get dressed, to get up and go outside and feel the fresh air and sun on your face. Just moving around, walking and standing. That’s one of the things I loved the most, getting out of bed all day long. It gave me a sense of urgency to recover. I saw others walking about and they did amazing, when I saw that I said, that’s going to be me. Excellent staff, excellent PT, OT, SLP. Seeing them gives you that “you’re going to be ok, we’re going to take care of you”. They push you to stay motivated and to practice the ability, never giving up or never saying you can’t do this. They are always positive, even when they are pushing you.
Q: What is something challenging about therapy?
Working on the left side, finger motion and picking up objects. That was the most challenging. I’m still working on it now.
Q: What would you tell a stroke survivor just starting out in rehab.
To rest, eat well and prepare yourself to get up and walk. Walk with a conviction, it’s such as awesome team. As soon as you get out of bed you are already feeling motivated like I can’ do this. When you go out to the atrium and see all the equipment and the sun light it motivates you to get it down. You can push yourself by seeing others move. Ask your therapists if there is anything you want to do, and they can work on it with you. All my sessions were amazing.
Q: What do you like about group therapy?
Seeing other people going through the same struggles and overcoming those struggles. Being able to communicate and hear their testimonies as they continue their therapy and recovery. I have seen 2 people I’ve been with from the beginning go home and they are doing so well! Listening to them speak helped me be able to speak more clearly. Group was very therapeutic, I had a lot of fun in group.
Q: Would you recommend NRH to someone looking for stroke rehab?
Most definitely!! Someone told me it was the best and it’s true! I would recommend everything.
To learn more about the Inpatient Stroke Recovery Program at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, please call
Outpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Services are conveniently located throughout the region. Click here to learn more about the locations of Outpatient Stroke Recovery services
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About MedStar National Rehabilitation Network
The MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is a regional system of rehabilitation care that offers inpatient, day treatment and outpatient services in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.
The Network’s interdisciplinary team of rehabilitation experts provides comprehensive services to help people recover as fully as possible following illness and injury. Rehabilitation medicine specialists, psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists work hand-in-hand with other rehab professionals to design treatment plans tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Rehabilitation plans feature a team approach and include the use of state-of-the-art technology and advanced medical treatment based on the latest rehabilitation research.
The Network provides comprehensive programs specifically designed to aid in the rehabilitation of adults and children recovering from neurologic and orthopaedic conditions such as amputation, arthritis, back and neck pain, brain injury, cancer, cardiac conditions, concussion, fibromyalgia, foot and ankle disorders, hand and upper extremity problems, post-polio syndrome, stroke, spinal cord injury and disease, and sports and work-related injuries.
Inpatient and day treatment programs are provided at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital located in Northwest Washington, DC and at more than 50 outpatient sites conveniently located throughout the region. MedStar National Rehabilitation Network is fully accredited by The Joint Commission, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), with CARF accredited specialty programs for Amputations, Brain Injury, Spinal Cord Injury and Stroke.
For more on MedStar National Rehabilitation Network and to find a location near you, log on to MedStarNRH.org.