Grayson Goodrich has traveled far and wide. Born in Nebraska, Grayson went to high school in California, was stationed in Hawaii while in the Marine Corps and returned to California where he worked as a civilian employee with the U.S. Navy for 30 years. When it came time to retire, Grayson and his wife Kelly decided to put down roots in Texas, a place they had visited many times and came to love. They bought 10 acres of ranch land outside of Austin and looked forward to building their own log home.
Everything was going to plan. Blueprints were finalized, the land was cleared and the foundation was being prepped. What wasn’t part of the plan, however, was Grayson having a stroke.
While showering after a long day of working around the ranch, Grayson noticed that his face felt numb. He told his wife he also felt dizzy and then he began vomiting. When his symptoms didn’t improve, Kelly called 9-1-1.
Grayson was rushed to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Marble Falls where a CT scan and an MRI revealed that he had a cerebral infarction, a type of stroke caused by blockage in a blood vessel in the brain. Doctors were able to stabilize Grayson and a week later he was ready to begin his recovery at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Lakeway (BSWIR – Lakeway), where he would go through inpatient rehabilitation and the outpatient Day Neuro Program – a specialized day program focused on transitioning patients back into the community.
Upon admission to inpatient rehabilitation, Grayson faced a long list of challenges caused by his stroke: “The ability to focus, concentrate and pay attention were all impacted. My thought process was slow and I had speech difficulties due to irritation to my vocal cords from acid reflux. I couldn’t stand or even sit up – let alone walk - without assistance due to left-side weakness and balance issues. And my vision was impaired. I was seeing double which made my balance that much worse.”
Grayson’s rehab team understood his complex needs and helped him set a series of goals. While doctors and nurses monitored his medical needs, Grayson got to work. Through a combination of physical, occupational and speech therapies, he slowly but surely began to see results. First, it was improved strength that enable him to sit up and transfer in and out of bed. That led to more challenging exercises to increase his balance and endurance, allowing him to take a few steps on his own. Each of these milestones were important, but the day Grayson walked non-stop on a treadmill for 20 minutes was the breakthrough that gave him the confidence and willpower to keep pushing forward.
“My rehab team has given me the ability to walk with minimal assistance and increased my physical strength and endurance. I can think more clearly, remember better and increased my eye strength; speeding up the healing process, improving my vision and balance. Because of their constant optimism, positive attitude and the tools they shared I feel I have surpassed my goals.”
Part of the rehab process is family education to help their loved one once they leave the Day Neuro Program. Grayson said his wife was a trooper in her support of him. She drove him to and from rehab every day, twice a day. She also participated in daily therapy sessions, family days and family education sessions, soaking up as much information as we were able to give her.
Through BSWIR – Lakeway’s inpatient rehabilitation and Day Neuro Program, Grayson reached his rehabilitation goals, but still has one more big goal to cross off his list: finish construction of his log home – and enjoy retirement with Kelly by his side.