New Lenox Woman Recovers from Stroke with Help from RIC at Silver Cross
Aug. 6, 2017, is a day Kathy Albert won’t ever forget. When she awoke at 8 a.m. and prepared to get out of bed, she felt an unfamiliar sensation…as if a chunk of cement had been placed on her legs. She quickly realized she couldn’t move the left side of her body either.
Photo Caption: New Lenox resident Kathy Albert (center) poses with therapists at The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) at Silver Cross, (left to right) Marleen Comella, physical therapist; Deborah Jacob-Mass, occupational therapist; Kathleen Jones, physical therapist; Jaclyn Garcia, occupational therapist; and Lindsay Wawrzyniak, speech language pathologist; 10 months after suffering a stroke. Kathy spent two weeks recovering in RIC’s inpatient unit at Silver Cross Hospital and attending therapy in RIC’s outpatient clinic at Silver Cross Hospital for over three weeks in 2017.
When Albert tried to get up, she fell to the ground. Her husband Dan helped her up, but when Albert tried to a pick up the phone to dial 911, she couldn’t move her left hand. When she arrived at the Emergency Department at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, neurologist Richard Burgess, M.D., determined she had suffered a stroke.
Once Albert’s condition was stabilized, and she was ready for rehabilitation, she was moved up to a patient room where she recovered for ten days on The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s (RIC) inpatient unit. RIC has been ranked the #1 rehabilitation hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. Through a unique partnership with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, patients like Albert are able to benefit from RIC’s comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs close to home in New Lenox, Homer Glen and the west side of Joliet.
“Since Kathy had severe arthritis in the left side of her body prior to her neurological event, the stroke made the left side of her body extra weak,” said Jennifer Zolp, RN, and manager of RIC’s inpatient unit at Silver Cross. “Our team of specially trained rehabilitation physicians, therapists and nurses collaborated with Kathy and her neurologist Dr. Burgess to develop a customized plan of care so she could regain her mobility and independence.”
Three weeks of outpatient therapy at RIC’s Ability Achievement Center at Silver Cross Hospital helped Albert regain her strength and mobility. She can now steadily walk around her house, use a cane for extra safety while walking outside, and pick up items with her left hand.
“I wouldn’t go anywhere else but Silver Cross because everyone took such good care of me,” said Albert. “I was so scared when I arrived to the Emergency Department. Dr. Burgess was wonderful. He talked to me like I knew him all my life, and he made me feel so comfortable. And my speech, physical and occupational therapists all built up my self-confidence and by doing so, they gave me such great hope for a successful recovery. I am forever grateful to have received such compassionate and expert care so close to my home.”
For more information about inpatient care with RIC at Silver Cross, call (815) 300-5971. To learn the warning signs of stroke, visit www.silvercross.org/neuro or call 1-888-660-HEAL.
Know the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke
May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Every 40 seconds in the United States, a stroke occurs; it’s critical that treatment be started quickly. First and foremost, get to know the most important acronym in stroke: F.A.S.T. The acronym stands for facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties and time to call emergency services.
To determine your risk of stroke, take our free online stroke risk assessment.