Thierry L. is a native of France who moved to the United States in 1977 through an exchange program facilitated by Fresno State University. Since then, Thierry has made life-long friends who are like family. This made his decision to stay in California easy. He eventually left Fresno for Santa Clara Valley, where he works as an electrical engineer in a lab.
One day at work, Thierry felt a sudden loss of balance and fell to the ground. He recalled having difficulty speaking and felt as if his face was drooping on one side. He recognized the symptoms and was certain he had a stroke.
Before he knew it, first responders arrived and transported him to San Jose Regional Medical Center. There they confirmed that he had a stroke. Fortunately, he received tPA, a treatment used to minimize the risk of brain injury for stroke patients. Looking back, Thierry remembered how terrified he was after receiving his diagnosis. He worked hard to remain optimistic. His doctor recommended physical therapy at an inpatient rehabilitation hospital.
Thierry wanted to find the right place for his rehabilitation needs, so he turned to his long-time friends in Fresno. Without hesitation, they recommended San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital. He put his trust in their recommendation and decided to transfer to SJVRH.
When he first arrived, Thierry couldn’t move the right side of his body, but he felt encouraged to do more. He said, “I started therapy, and every day I saw two or three things that would improve ever so slightly. That encouraged me a lot because the quality of the therapy resulted in improvement every day. It’s very exciting!”
Thierry went from not being unable to move, swallow, or feed himself to eating on his own, moving the right side of his body, and walking with a walker. He met all of his goals including managing his stress. He is now motivated to incorporate yoga or thai chi into his life and plans to continue his recovery with SJVRH’s outpatient therapy program. Thierry returned home with these words, “Don’t worry, this is very scary now, but they are going to take great care of you.”