You awake in the dark, early hours of the morning and immediately know that something is wrong. You open your eyes and your once familiar bedroom, and everything in it, is spinning around you. You call out for help and immediately throw up as a wave of nausea overtakes you. Feeling sick, with the world still spinning madly around you, you are bundled into a car and driven to the nearest hospital before the sun has even begun to rise.
This was the experience of 51-year-old William Phillips, an airline facility maintenance mechanic, husband and father of three. William’s wife had already experienced a stroke. She recognized the signs and rushed him to Medical City Alliance in Fort Worth. Testing confirmed that a blood clot in William’s brain had caused a stroke.
He developed uncontrollable hiccups, vertigo, nausea, dizziness, double vision and bladder issues. William also experienced problems with his balance and speech. “It felt like someone was always pulling me to the right, really off balance. I also wasn’t able to talk very loud, everything came out as a whisper,” he recalled.
William and his wife knew that he would need expert inpatient and outpatient care as he worked to regain control of his body. They decided that Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (BSWIR) – Fort Worth, and its Day Neuro Program, would help William get back to life. His goals were simple yet significant: to be able to take a shower by himself and to regain the energy to walk confidently again.
William’s rehabilitation relied on a treatment plan that included physical, occupational and speech therapy. Physical therapists helped William regain his balance and strengthen his body. Occupational therapy focused on retraining his activities of daily living, such as showering on his own, brushing his teeth and preparing food. Speech therapy reinforced his pronunciation and taught him methods of breath support to use while speaking.
William, determined to get his life close to where it had been before the stroke, put every drop of effort he could into therapy. He started to see results and remembered the moment he began walking on his own. “When they told me not to bring my chair or walker, it was a big deal,” he said.
William’s success was also due, in part, to the support of his wife and his sister. “My sister would help out when my wife was working. They have been really supportive and worked together so well and made a ton of sacrifices to help me,” he said.
William was prepared for the next part of his rehabilitation journey with outpatient therapy. “I’ve reached the goals I had. Now my goals are to continue to get my equilibrium back and do everything I can to get back to work,” he said.
He won’t soon forget his time at BSWIR – Fort Worth, though. “I’ve gotten everything out of this that I’ve needed. I’ve been working hard, the therapists have put everything they have into getting me to this point,” he said.
As he looks forward to reclaiming a sense of normalcy and returning to work, he extends a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been a part of his remarkable journey.
“I would highly recommend this place because of my experience. I never thought I would be a success story, I just wanted to get better. Everyone here has gotten me to the point I’m at today.”