Home for the holidays

In the fall, the thought of spending Christmas at home was a distant hope for Floyd Blanchard. The 80-year-old had suffered a stroke that left much of his body paralyzed.

Shortly after his acute care, Floyd became an inpatient in the Stroke/Neurological Rehabilitation Program at Parkwood Institute. At the start of his rehabilitation, he was unable to walk, had no movement in his left arm and hand, and was on a feeding tube.

Alice and Floyd

Floyd’s wife Alice was there every step of the way through his journey. Floyd and Alice soon found that the rehabilitation unit feels like its own little family, where both patients and staff support one another through the challenges of recovering well enough to go home. Floyd says, “Everyone has that one focus in mind – going home.”

Recovering in time for the holidays, with help from Parkwood staff

For the first 17 days, Floyd required a feeding tube, but he was getting better. With daily speech therapy and the aid and oversight of a dietician, he was soon able to eat on his own. Physical therapy tailored to his individual needs helped him to recover his mobility, and even allowed him to walk up stairs.

Floyd says the satisfaction of measurable progress builds even more motivation. “I can’t say enough about the therapists, staff and nurses. They’re all so patient and caring.” Alice says, “The staff are so helpful to one another, often checking in to see if their colleagues have everything they need, and that really helps the patients, too.”

Now Floyd is walking with the aid of a walker, has mobility in his left arm, and movement returning to his fingers. Floyd was discharged the day before Christmas. Being able to spend the holidays with his family is a special milestone, as Christmas Day is also Floyd’s 81st birthday.

"Being home on my birthday is a double Christmas gift for me.”

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