Nancy Schultz, a 56-year-old woman known as a wife and devoted dog mom, experienced a stroke while watching late-night television. She described the incident, saying, "I noticed my left arm and side felt 'asleep' or numb. I needed to go to the bathroom and I could not move much." Despite her concerns, she initially delayed seeking help until the morning. "I was in denial," Nancy admitted.
Upon waking, Nancy remained unable to reach the bathroom on her own. She recounted, "I tried to go to the bathroom and I fell. We still did not call 911. I don't know why we did not call 911 right away." Eventually, at midday, she and her husband decided to contact emergency services. Although air transport was proposed to Baylor Scott & White Medical Center – Marble Falls, Nancy's fear led her to opt for ambulance transportation.
After admission, Nancy's medical team conducted a battery of tests, including a CAT scan and an MRI, along with heart assessments, to confirm her stroke. Once stabilized, she faced numerous challenges: drooping facial muscles, difficulty speaking, limited use of her left arm and leg and an inability to walk. The daunting road to recovery lay ahead, necessitating expert rehabilitative care to regain her lost independence.
Choosing to pursue recovery at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (BSWIR) – Lakeway, Nancy expressed confidence in the hospital's reputation. "I heard a lot of good things about this hospital," she stated. "Even the ambulance drivers said that if they had to take family members to rehab they would choose this hospital." At BSWIR – Lakeway, a physician-led team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech-language pathologists collaborated to help Nancy achieve her goals: regaining her independence in daily tasks such as using the bathroom and showering, as well as restoring her speech.
Nancy's physical therapist guided her through exercises to strengthen her body and restore functionality to her left leg and arm. She remarked, "She was my cheerleader and reminded me of my old aerobics instructor. I started walking because of her." Her occupational therapist focused on rehabilitating fine motor skills and retraining her in essential activities like bathing and dressing. Nancy remembered, "He was so helpful. I just shut my eyes and did what he said. It worked. Because of him, I can move my left hand."
Nancy's steady progress was attributed to her husband's support, her faith, and the care provided by the BSWIR – Lakeway staff. "I would say first that Jesus did the healing, but the staff was so wonderful and encouraging, especially for someone like me who is prone to depression." Her determination paid off as she achieved significant rehabilitation milestones: regaining the ability to push herself up using her left arm, resuming walking and recovering her speech. "It was so nice to speak. I sounded like my old self," she shared.
Now on the path to recovery, Nancy acknowledges the need to maintain her momentum post-discharge from BSWIR – Lakeway. "I'm looking forward to getting therapy at home. I am not a self-starter so I need someone to help me," she admitted. She hopes to find individuals as supportive and encouraging as her physical and occupational therapists, as well as the rest of the staff. "I don't want to leave anyone out. Everyone was so nice and encouraging."
"Don't be afraid like I was," Nancy advises those facing situations similar to hers. "If they ask you to do something, just try it."