Ed Martin, RehabCentre Patient

Ed Martin - Midland, MI

"They are exceptional, compassionate people who take your interests to heart and really care about how you are doing."

With Determination and the Right Therapy Plan, Recovery is Possible

On October 9, 2015, Ed Martin was at home enjoying some time with his grandchildren. When his daughter-in-law stopped to pick up the kids, she knew something was wrong. "She told me I didn't look right," he said. "I wasn't feeling up to par, but I didn't feel bad." Still, she was concerned and decided to take him to the Emergency Department at MyMichigan Medical Center Midland. While there, Ed had a stroke. "If you're going to have a stroke, that's a good place to be," he said with his typical good humor.

For three days, Ed was treated at the Medical Center. On October 12, he was transferred to the RehabCentre at MyMichigan Medical Center Alma, where he spent four weeks regaining his strength and re-building the skills he lost due to the stroke.

"If you have to go to rehab, the RehabCentre is the place to go. It's the best in the area," Ed said. "They have a very talented staff. The nurses, physical therapists and occupational therapists are all very good."

Ed had suffered paralysis with the stroke. "My left side was fine but I had issues with my right side," he said. He had a slight problem with speech, but most of the damage affected the motor skills in his hand and leg. "When I got to the RehabCentre, I couldn't move anything. I had to retrain my arm and leg to do what they should. After a month there, I could pick up my arm, I could walk with a walker and I could dress myself for the most part. The staff there was very, very good."

Each patient at the RehabCentre has a therapy plan developed for their specific situation. "The first thing they did was an evaluation," Ed said. "They came in and saw what I could and could not do, and they took that into consideration when building my rehab plan."

On a typical day, Ed would have sessions in the morning and the afternoon. "Physical therapy took care of my lower half, my legs and feet. We worked hard on strengthening the lower body," he explained. "Occupational therapy worked on the upper half. They prepared me to go home and do things on my own." He spent four to five hours a day building skills and strength.

Ed usually worked with the same therapists each day. "I had one person for occupational therapy and one person for physical therapy, so we got to know each other," he said. "They were very thoughtful. I was there for my birthday, my anniversary and Veterans Day and they marked those days. I had a cupcake to celebrate my birthday."

The idea of recovering from a stroke was unsettling and even difficult for Martin to describe. "One day I could use everything, then all of a sudden I couldn't even lift my arm," he said. "But by the time I left, I could move around and I walked out with a walker. Now I'm getting used to a cane. That's my goal with home therapy – use a cane."

Ed has a positive attitude toward life that carried over to his rehabilitation efforts. "I actually had a good time there," he said. "I try to have a little fun no matter what I'm doing and they were fun to work with. They are exceptional, compassionate people who take your interests to heart and really care about how you are doing."

Ed is committed to his recovery. "The RehabCentre cares about your recovery," he said. "On the other hand, a lot of it is up to the patient. I was willing to really work at it. I still am." He has continued his rehabilitation efforts and has physical and occupational therapy twice a week at home, for a total of four hours.

"If someone really wants to get better, and they're willing to work at it, they should go to the RehabCentre," Ed said. "They have the best facilities and the best staff. I'd recommend them to anyone."

The RehabCentre at MyMichigan Medical Center Alma is a hospital-based unit specializing in intensive physical, occupational, recreational and speech therapy. Patients receive a minimum of three hours of therapy each day, along with 24-hour nursing and physician care. Those who would like more information on the RehabCentre may visit www.mymichigan.org/rehabcentre.

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