It was the middle of the night, just days from Thanksgiving, when Fransico Gomez’s life was about to change forever. He woke to use the bathroom like any other night, but upon standing he immediately fell back onto the bed, too weak to stand. His wife was startled awake and when Fransico spoke, she realized his speech was slurred. She rushed him to the ER at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – McKinney.
When Fransico first arrived in the ER, he had facial droop and left sided weakness. He was diagnosed with right-sided ischemic stroke – which is a stroke caused by a clot that is preventing normal blood supply to the brain. An emergency treatment for this type of stroke, called tPa, was administered to attempt to limit the effects of the stroke, but it must be done within a certain timeframe to be effective. Unfortunately for Fransico, it appeared that he missed that window.
Fransico spent one week at Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – McKinney recovering from the immediate effects of his stroke. When he stabilized, Fransico’s daughter helped to make the decision to transfer to Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Frisco (BSWIR-Frisco) for inpatient rehabilitation.
When he began his rehabilitation, Fransico’s biggest goal was to regain movement in his left side. He was almost completely paralyzed on that side and a major challenge was learning how to adapt to everyday tasks with non-moving extremities. Even sleeping became a challenge for Fransico.
However, as Fransico progressed though rehabilitation with intensive occupational and physical therapy sessions, he began to see progress. Physical therapy helped him build strength and coordination to help regain movement. His occupational therapist recalls Fransico being so ready to get going from day one sharing that he even asked for exercises he could do in his room when he wasn’t in the therapy gym. It was through his occupational therapy that Fransico would work on adapting to his current functional level in order to complete tasks required for daily living.
Fransico began his recovery and rehabilitation in a wheelchair as he was almost completely paralyzed on one side, but he was determined to walk again, and return to work. He knew these goals were a long way off, but he wanted to set his sights on the ultimate prize. He shared, “Each (discipline) is important. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy -- everything. Everything is necessary for some purpose. I know that my exercises were to help me practice and get better.”
All of Fransico’s hard work paid off. He went from relying fully on his wheelchair to walking on his own with a quad cane. “I am just thankful, really grateful to everyone who helped me. Everyone has been so nice and really cares about you. It was my job to make sure I worked hard,” Fransico said.
“I am just thankful, really grateful to everyone who helped me. Everyone has been so nice and really cares about you."
In turn, one of Fransico’s therapists shared that every once in a while, a patient comes along that inspires us. They remind us why we do what we do. Sometimes it’s their story, other times it’s their prognosis or their drive to recover. Fransico Gomez was one of those patients. His humor and his work ethic throughout his stay has brought a spark of inspiration to the entire staff as well as other patients.
Upon discharge, Fransico continued his recovery through the Day Neuro Program at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Frisco.