Patrick Davis never let his chronic heart condition define his life. He led a “normal” life, working, going to the gym almost daily and juggling countless responsibilities. Above all, Patrick was a family man; his wife Latosha and their children Jordan, Meagan, and Corlan were always his top priority. He was also outgoing, gregarious and typically the life of the party. He’d even jump in and serve as DJ to keep the music going.
Then one day the music stopped – when Patrick began to experience difficulty speaking and right-side weakness. He was rushed to Baylor University Medical Center (BUMC), part of Baylor Scott & White Health, where diagnostics revealed he had a stroke.
Patrick was left with profound right-sided weakness and an almost complete lack of comprehension of what was being said to him. He was frightened and frustrated as his condition slowly stabilized, but ready to start the long road back. He and his family chose the specialized stroke program at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (BSWIR) – Dallas to help him on that journey.
Upon admission, Patrick was unable to use his right arm or leg. He required significant assistance to complete basic self-care tasks like getting dressed and transferring from a bed into a wheelchair. Most challenging of all, Patrick had aphasia and was unable to speak, something that can be common after a stroke. Patrick knew what he wanted to say but was unable to produce the words.
With his family’s support and the encouragement of his BSWIR rehabilitation team, Patrick worked hard, never once asking to take a break, and slowly began to show signs of improvement.
His physical therapists focused on mobility, starting Patrick on a body weight support treadmill system. This gait training combined with other exercises to increase his strength, balance and endurance led to his taking first few steps. In less than a month, Patrick was walking 500 feet with a cane and rarely needed assistance to steady himself. He soon was able to climb 20 stairs with partial assistance.
Patrick’s occupational therapists focused restoring arm strength and function. Through targeted exercises and adaptive strategies, they helped him relearn to perform daily activities with minimal to partial assistance. He also had a customized splint to wear on his hand at night and a special sling to support his shoulder and allowed free movement of his arm.
One challenge remained. Despite making steady progress in his intensive speech program, Patrick still had difficulty producing words. His speech-language pathologist introduced him to apps and other assistive technology options to help him communicate. This is one area he has vowed to continue to work on as he transitions to BSWIR’s outpatient Day Neuro Program.
Heartened by the improvement Patrick has made so far, Latosha said, “I am overwhelmed by his progress in such a short period of time. I am forever grateful for the entire staff for the tremendous progress he has made and so happy that I can see him being able to get back to all the things he once enjoyed.” Let the music begin.