George Silva

George Silva remembered lying in bed one morning not feeling like his “normal self.” It was approximately 6:00 am and George noticed that his legs felt weak. It took a lot of effort for him to get out of bed. His legs were so weak that he held onto the wall as he walked to his bathroom.

“Without a doubt in my mind, I knew something was wrong,” George stated. “I started to notice that it wasn’t just my legs, but my face felt strange, as well.”

Within a few minutes, George walked slowly back to his bed. “After lying back down, I told my wife, Sharon, that my legs were weak and the left side of my face felt numb,” he said. “I tried telling her about my symptoms and realized that I may be having a stroke.”

Sharon noticed the facial droop and George’s inability to speak clearly. She wasted no time in taking her husband to Clovis Community Medical Center’s emergency room.

Once George arrived, the doctor performed a stroke assessment, as well as scans and imaging. George began to reflect. “I was so lucky to have made it to the hospital before things had gotten worse,” he realized.

The doctors at Clovis Community reviewed his test results. George did, indeed, have a stroke. He admitted to the hospital and stayed for approximately one week. George’s doctors recommended he transfer to an inpatient rehabilitation hospital. Inpatient rehab would help George in two key functional areas. Physical therapy would help him regain his strength. Meanwhile, occupational therapy would help George modify self-care activities. George chose San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital.

Although excited to start his rehab journey, George had a lot of work ahead of him. He was very weak as a result of the stroke and could not fully care for himself. He explained how difficult it was to lose his independence, not knowing if he’d get it back again.

“I knew right away that I needed to stay positive and think about getting through this ordeal,” George noted. “I’ve been through some challenging days in my lifetime. By staying positive and working hard, I’ll get through this too.”

George shared an experience where he almost lost his life. “I remember the day when I raced as a professional cyclist with the United States Cycling Federation and was involved in a head-on collision with a truck,” said George.

“Not only did I live through a terrible accident, but months later, I raced again. I stayed positive and worked hard to get better” George recalled. “My plan was to stay positive, work hard, and get better, again.”

“I will never forget my experience at SJVRH and the people I met who became friends for life. My roommate, Roger, the nursing staff, therapy staff, and everyone I came into contact with,” said George.

“I remember my first day at SJVRH when I was wheeled into the hospital asking myself if I’ll ever walk again or be myself,” George shared. “On my last day at SJVRH, I walked out of the hospital on my own. I can’t thank everyone enough. Thank you San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital!”