Emmy Sorth lives an active life, both at home, and at her summer cottage on a New York island. At her cottage, Emmy enjoys gardening and photography, and when she needs to leave her cottage, she fires up her motor boat and rides over to the mainland. She takes pride in her active and independent life.
One day, while alone in her cottage, she felt extremely dizzy. Concerned that she was having a stroke, Emmy managed to get herself to a sofa before falling. “I could think and talk, but I could not walk,” Emmy explains. When her friend came inside and found Emmy, she called for help. “Since we were on an island, a ‘fire boat’ has to come. It’s equipped as an ambulance, and an EMT worked on me,” Emmy says. “And the name of the boat was ‘Last Chance!’”
After a brief stay in a New York hospital, Emmy knew that she needed a high level of rehabilitation. She recalls, “I called my niece and told her to get me back to Pennsylvania and get me to HealthSouth!”
Emmy chose HealthSouth Nittany Valley Rehabilitation Hospital in Pleasant Gap for several reasons. The hospital provides three hours of therapy a day; frequent physician visits; specialized rehab nurses; and state-of-the-art technology. Emmy was hopeful that this program, with a higher level of rehabilitation for those recovering from stroke, would help her achieve her goals.
A retired speech pathologist herself, Emmy knows all about the importance of setting patient goals. “It’s an important part of recovery,” Emmy says. She had two goals: the short-term goal was to get back to her Pennsylvania home, and her long-term goal was to get back to her island cottage in New York. “My HealthSouth team knew my goals and we worked together to achieve them. If it was going to happen, it was going to happen at HealthSouth!”
HealthSouth patient care is centered around an interdisciplinary team approach, and patients like Emmy appreciate it. “I love the team conferences with the various disciplines,” she says. “The lines of communication are always open. I always felt like the right hand knew what the left hand was doing.” She adds, “Even the housekeeping staff was impressive – friendly and helpful.”
Emmy especially enjoyed her time with Alyssa Covas, a student in occupational therapy. “We worked hard and we had a lot of fun, too,” says Alyssa. Emmy adds, “She challenged me, and yet she was sweet and compassionate. That’s just what I needed.”
Emmy shares “the bottom line” on her recovery from a stroke: “I chose HealthSouth because it’s a high level of care, and that’s what I needed to make the best possible recovery. This was the place for me.”