Stroke Survivor Seeks to Help Veterans and Others get Physical Therapy when Insurance Runs Out

August 12, 2014

Sean Entin Receives Therapy at Providence Tarzana’s Outpatient Center

For two years, stroke survivor Sean Entin has been rebuilding his strength in a challenging physical therapy program at Providence Tarzana Medical Center’s outpatient rehabilitation center.

More difficult than getting to the next level in his recovery, however, is watching fellow survivors leave the program before they are ready. They are unable to continue therapy because their insurance covers a set number of visits with these invaluable specialists, regardless of their progress.

Sean was a month shy of his 40th birthday when he suffered a ruptured carotid artery, likely during a martial arts workout. The husband and father of two young girls was hard at work, trying to get in the best shape of his life.

Then during a Thanksgiving visit with friends and family he passed out. When he awakened 10 days later in a Santa Barbara hospital, he was bedridden, unable to speak clearly or to walk and was lucky to be alive.

Today he marvels at his progress – and counts his blessings. He is among the fortunate with the means to continue his physical therapy with therapist Sylvia Pena of Providence Tarzana, where his father, a retired surgeon, once served as chief of staff.

Now to help those less fortunate, Sean has established the Move 2improve Foundation, a nonprofit organization, to raise money for continued physical therapy for survivors of traumatic brain injuries. He and a small group of friends have identified 47 other survivors in need of therapy. They especially want to help wounded veterans who have fallen between the cracks and need continued rehab to rebuild their lives.

“These are people who have had very serious injuries and they can’t afford to go back to therapy,” he said. “And if you don’t have therapy you can’t get back to work. I am the proof of what’s possible with continued care. Just two years after a stroke that should have killed me I’m back to work and running a foundation.”

Sean created his organization to “engage patients in cutting-edge therapies and finance rehabilitation for the underinsured. Our goal is to help them regain mobility and cognitive skills, provide support for their families and friends and make them MOVERS once again,” according to the Move 2improve website.

Continued improvement gives these patients hope. Sean remembers when he had trouble walking and his senses were slow. Now he walks, climbs stairs, drives, works on computers and more. He gets tired but he rests and starts again. And he never forgets his blessings.

“I have hope, and they need hope,” he said. “It’s an accomplishment when you can walk 10 feet, but you need so much more. There’s so much ahead of you and 10 feet is not enough. We have to advocate for people.”