Treatment Within Reach
For Karen Bess, 66, the rehab team at Augusta Health was just what she needed. In 2005, Karen didn't even know she was having a stroke when she fell over a few times. "I couldn't get my balance and I figured that my new shoes were too heavy since my legs felt very tired," says Karen. When she fell again and had to crawl into the house, Karen went to Augusta Health's emergency room, where the neurologist told her she had suffered three strokes. Two days later, Karen suffered a fourth stroke that caused her to have speech problems, trouble swallowing and an inability to walk or move her left leg or arm.
Karen spent a month at Augusta Health undergoing extensive physical, occupational, speech and recreation therapy. "The staff was caring and understanding. They were the best cheerleaders a person could want," she says. Karen is slowly recovering and is looking forward to celebrating her 50th wedding anniversary this year.
"We tell our patients and their families that rehabilitation takes time," says Payne. "It can take months or years for the brain and the body to heal."