Stroke Patient, Providence Holy Cross Medical Center
What would you do if you suddenly woke up in the middle of the night with a strong headache and noticed that you had lost all feelings in your arm?
This happened to 57 year old, Mike Oliver, who didn't even stop to think he could be having a stroke. When Mike awoke during his sleep, it was his wife who insisted on calling an ambulance to get him to a hospital. When Mike came to Providence Holy Cross the physicians immediately admitted him and knew that he had experienced his first stroke.
The stroke paralyzed the left side of Mike's body preventing him from being able to walk and lift his arm. After being immobile in the hospital for a few days, he was transferred to the Acute Rehab Department for four weeks where a Physical Therapist and an Occupational Therapist helped him move his leg and arm again. "My therapists were great and soon became my friends," he said. They helped Mike to regain near normal function over an eight-month recovery period.
Now, just more than a year later, Mike Oliver is back at work. Mike teaches eighth grade science at Olive Vista Middle School in Sylmar. Although he still walks with a slight limp due to the pain in his hip and ankle, he has been able to return to his normal daily life. "Chasing 13-year olds is tough enough, and it has been even tougher for me to keep up with them," says Mike.
The rehabilitation program and the therapists at Providence Holy Cross helped Mike make it back to his very important job of teaching children. While it was an extensive process of recovery and rehabilitation, it was also a big lesson of learning for one teacher.