Roberta Pass with her husband, Jim.

Roberta’s Rehab Success: Recovering from Three Strokes in Less Than Two Years

Aug 13 2020

Roberta Pass still remembers the day in October 2018 when she came to Mercy Health – St. Rita’s Medical Center after being sick for a few weeks. Her symptoms seemed to keep getting worse and worse.

“I had lost my balance and I was throwing up,” Roberta recalls. “My fingers began to cramp shut. I knew something was wrong but didn’t know what.”

Within a half hour of arriving at St. Rita’s, she was told she had suffered from two stokes. Roberta was immediately brought to the intensive care unit. Later the following day, she had two stents put in her neck. Finally, a week later, Roberta went home.

Two years later – in July 2020 – Roberta returned to St. Rita’s with the same symptoms as before.

“They were worse this time,” she shares. Roberta was again diagnosed with a stroke. During this visit, she was transferred to St. Rita’s inpatient rehab unit.

“This was my third stroke in less than two years. My husband, Jim, came to visit me every day. All the therapists were fantastic and helped me regain function and my feeling back.”

The St. Rita’s inpatient rehabilitation team offers comprehensive therapy including individuals certified in neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT). This hands-on approach is used to help patients who have difficulty controlling their movement. Accredited for stroke rehab by Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, St. Rita’s has a team of registered rehab nurses on staff.

“Our goal with each patient is to get them back to the life they once knew as best as we can,” says Sandy Kleman, an occupational therapist on the rehab unit.  “Through specialized treatment and simple encouragement, it’s amazing what our patients can do. Each one of them becomes a member of our St. Rita’s family and we love to celebrate their successes.”

Within weeks of her stay on the rehab unit, Roberta regained most her feeling and began walking, something she thought she’d never do again.

“My husband and I want to thank all of the staff from the bottom of our hearts for all their patience, love, and compassion,” Roberta says. “They really made my hospital stay pleasant and fun. I’d recommend them to any of my friends. I don’t know what would’ve happened if I didn’t have rehab.”

Roberta is also thankful she recognized the signs of another stroke and sought help right away. She encourages everyone to never ignore health symptoms when you don’t feel well.

“Please listen to your body,” she says.

Learn about the stroke care services we offer at Mercy Health.

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