Bob woke up at 4:00 am to use the bathroom, and as he stood to get out of bed, he noticed that his left leg felt strange. “I thought it had fallen asleep, but I started walking to the bathroom anyway,” says Haller. “On my way back to bed, I was really wobbling, and my leg felt like rubber; it wasn’t moving the way I wanted it to move. It also felt weak. I sat down on the edge of the bed and I knew that something wasn’t right.” At that point Bob realized that his left arm was numb and he knew that he was having a stroke.
His family called 911 and Bob was taken to the Emergency Department of a Chicago hospital, where he spent five days. He was not able to walk on his own and he did not have the full use of his left arm and hand. “I was trying to rehabilitate my left hand by using it for everything, including eating,” Bob adds. “It wasn’t always pretty, but I was determined.”
From the hospital in Chicago, Bob told his doctor that he wanted to come back home and go to HealthSouth Nittany Valley for rehabilitation. “I knew I needed HealthSouth, because I had been there before to visit family. A rehabilitation hospital gives you more therapy and I needed that higher dose to get back to where I was before,” Bob explains. “Between the doctor in Chicago, my doctor in Reedsville, and the HealthSouth admissions team, my rehabilitation as HealthSouth was all coordinated before I was even discharged. “
Bob’s daughter, Betsy, drove to Chicago from Reedsville to bring her dad home. “We stopped every two hours, and I would talk on the phone to the HealthSouth admissions team, asking questions and getting reassurance as we made the long trip back,” Betsy explains. Rehabilitation Liaison Cathy Steffen, LPN, was one of the nurses who talked to Betsy as they made their way back to HealthSouth. “I felt like we were right there with them on the drive from Chicago, helping to make their journey home a little easier,” says Steffen.
“Dad’s case manager, Kim Germino, arranged everything for us, and eased any apprehensions we had about what was next,” says Betsy. “The rehabilitation is top-notch, and I would come back here just because of the good people who work here. “
Bob had three hours of therapy a day, including physical and occupational therapy. “I got stronger, and I have better use of my hand, thanks to therapy,” Bob says. Once he was discharged from HealthSouth’s inpatient rehabilitation, he continued his therapy at the HealthSouth Outpatient Clinic in Burnham.
Stroke patients can make gains in their rehabilitation long after their stroke, and Bob is still doing what he can to improve. Bob’s daughter Betsy adds, “We’re just glad that we could bring dad home for rehabilitation.”