David M.

David M.

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One night, David McMahon settled in to watch a basketball game in his man cave. The game, he reports, was not very exciting and he fell asleep.

David recalls waking up at 5 o'clock the next morning thinking something didn’t seem right. He got out of bed to go to the restroom and fell. He got up, fell again, and proceeded to drag himself to the bathroom. Coming out of the bathroom, David fell again and got a gash on his arm. He dragged himself back to the bed and grabbed his cell phone. He called his wife on the landline, told her he had a stroke, to call 9-1-1, and bring him some aspirin.

David learned later that taking aspirin is good when you have a stroke due to a blockage, but can be a fatal mistake if the stroke is hemorrhagic. Fortunately for David, his stroke was caused by a calcium blockage of his carotid artery.

Paramedics showed up and asked if David knew when he had his stroke. Unfortunately, he could not remember. Stroke is a medical emergency and is best treated as quickly as possible. For treatment of ischemic strokes (strokes caused by a blockage), intravenous tissue plasminogen activator (IV tPA) is a clot-busting medication that is safe and effective up to 4.5 hours from the onset of symptoms. The paramedics could not risk administering tPA without knowing when David's stroke occurred.

Subsequently, David was admitted to Redlands Community Hospital. They treated David for a few days and referred him to Ballard Rehabilitation Hospital. David admitted to Ballard and stayed 18 days for intensive stroke rehabilitation.

During his stay at Ballard, David recognized and showed extreme gratitude to some amazing staff including:

  • Lori Aceves, PTA
  • Michael Simpson, Speech Therapist
  • Alison Wu, PT
  • Richard Zecha, OT
  • Jason Roth, OT
  • Jocelyn Pimentel, PT

David remembers that in physical therapy, Alison was absolutely a dynamo! During a particular therapy session, they were working on walking with a front wheeled walker. Alison bumped into him, and he was surprised and startled. Alison reminded David you must be prepared for the unexpected and you could be bumped by someone at any time. David also mentioned that Richard is really good, Jason is wonderful and Jocelyn was fantastic in outpatient therapy. He recalls the therapists worked him so hard and he's glad they did. They tested his limits but he was driven, stating “I don’t give a damn. I’m going to get out of here quick!”

One year after his admission to Ballard, David stopped by just to say “thanks!” Since completing his rehabilitation, David has fully recovered. He returned to work part-time as the Advertising Sales Manager for the Redlands Symphony. David continues to practice his golf game and is just about ready to get back on the course.

We're so thankful to David for his kind words, and allowing us to be his bridge from dependence to independence!