StrokeKen Pracher has a passion for pictures. He majored in photography at Amarillo College and worked various travelling photography jobs for big-name brands including K-Mart and Walmart. After taking school and wedding photos for more than 10 years, he was able to open up his own studio in Burleson, Texas.
When Ken’s not out snapping pictures, he works in the membership department at Costco. One day, during his usual shift, he began experiencing numbness in his right arm and left leg. He sat down for a while but got right back to work and didn’t think much of it.
Later, Ken began experiencing another strange occurrence. His bones began to easily break, later discovering he had brittle bone disease. After several weeks of his right arm still going numb, he decided to go to the hospital, but didn’t follow through due to concerns around COVID-19. A few more weeks went by and another bone broke, but this time it was a cracked rib. Ken couldn’t move his arm and his fingers started to curl up. He drove himself to the hospital where testing revealed that he had suffered not one, but two strokes. On top of that, he had four broken ribs that were causing complications with his liver and a 98 percent blockage in one carotid artery and 100 percent in the other. He underwent emergency surgery for his liver, had one artery cleaned out and is scheduled to have the other cleaned at a later date.
As a result of Ken’s strokes and medical complications, he experienced cognitive deficits and difficulties using his right arm. He went to Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation – Frisco (BSWIR-Frisco) for stroke rehabilitation. While there, he was able to find happiness and support after the emotional rollercoaster of dealing with his mounting health issues.
Ken found comfort through the hospital’s neuropsychologist, who he considered his “life line” throughout recovery. He also loved all of the therapists working with him in occupational therapy – those who taught him how to stand, fine motor skills through puzzles, and work through memory challenges with word association and stories.
Everything Ken learned at BSIR-Frisco has stuck with him and he continues to get better every day. His main priority remains getting his arm back to full functionality so he has taken his passion of cooking as a way to push himself to improve arm movements. He also practices typing daily with the hope of returning to work in the near future. But even more so, he can’t wait to get behind the lens again and has no doubt he’ll be there in no time.
“My experience at BSWR-Frisco was truly life-changing. It taught me more about myself than I ever thought I could know,” Ken said. He is even considering going back to school to become a rehabilitation therapist so he can help others who have gone through a similar experience.