Pat Winford, a 52-year-old truck driver from Crowley, Texas, lived a happy life with his wife, Gina, and their 10 children. He enjoyed playing chess and driving trucks. But on Mother’s Day morning, something went wrong. While getting ready for work, he felt strange and dizzy. His right side didn’t work properly.
“I was limping on my right leg and feeling strange,” Pat recounted. “My wife recognized something was wrong…and called 911 and they found out I was having a stroke.”
Emergency responders promptly rushed him to JPS Health, where it was confirmed that he experienced a stroke caused by high blood pressure. After a week in ICU, Pat began his rehabilitation journey at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (BSWIR) – Fort Worth for a week and a half and following its Day Neuro Program.
Facing numerous challenges, including difficulty walking, weakness in his right arm, impaired speech and reduced stamina, Pat was determined to reclaim his independence.
“I wanted to get healthy again so I could get back to driving trucks,” Pat shared. His rehabilitation team crafted a tailored program to aid his recovery journey. Through strength training and tandem walking to enhance balance, Pat was able to rebuild his strength to walk again. “The strength training really helped me. I focused on it the most because I wanted to strengthen my arms and legs,” he recalled.
Pat significantly improved his abilities in targeted speech therapy using vital stem technology. “I am talking so much better now than I was before,” he recalled.
In occupational therapy, the therapists worked on getting sensation and movement back in his right arm, successfully using it for other exercises. In recreation therapy, Pat did boxing, which motivated him to get his own gloves and mitts and continue at home.
Pat recalls he had reached his “ah-ha” moment when he reached his six-minute walk test. “My distance almost doubled during my stay,” he beamed.
With support from his family and skilled therapists, Pat achieved his goals and found solace and strength in his faith throughout the healing process. “My faith was made stronger. I never lost focus on God,” Pat said. “This process also brought me closer to my family.”
Pat is very thankful for the encouragement he got from therapists and other patients. “From the first to the last day, they make you feel comfortable and welcome,” Pat praised. “Outside of the therapists, all of the patients – we all push and encourage each other.”
As he prepared to leave the hospital, Pat was excited to continue focusing on his health, having lost almost 20 pounds during his rehabilitation.
He enthusiastically recommends the Day Neuro Program to others seeking healing and recovery. “Don’t give up, keep pushing,” Pat advises others on their journey to recovery. “Feed positive energy off of people … feed off positive energy from your therapists."