William P.

William P.

William Pennington enjoyed walking the mall with friends most early mornings. During one morning's walk, William suddenly began experiencing issues with his speech, including word-finding difficulty and pressured speech. Having suffered a stroke seven years prior, William knew this was concerning. Recalling his post-stroke education, William had his family rush him to the emergency room.

Arriving at the hospital, William's blood pressure was elevated and he was experiencing atrial fibrillation. Alert and oriented, his arms and legs were moving well, but William couldn't communicate with anyone. William was diagnosed with both expressive and receptive aphasia. Aphasia is an impairment of language, which can affect the production or comprehension of speech, as well as the ability to read and/or write. An injury to the parts of the brain controlling speech and language causes aphasia. The most common cause is a stroke.

Inpatient rehabilitation would be required to address William's speech and balance concerns. He chose Southern Indiana Rehabilitation Hospital (SIRH) for his rehab. When he arrived, William couldn't verbally communicate with the staff. He required verbal and tactile cueing to understand directions and to complete his evaluations. For simple communication skills, William required assistance more than 75% of the time. This sparked fear for his safety, should William return home alone.

But things would soon turn around for William. He began work with the occupational, physical and speech therapists at SIRH. Upon completion of his inpatient stay, William's progress was impressive. His balance had increased, as did his ability to complete activities of daily living. And while he made significant improvements with his aphasia, William wished to further increase his independence.

Through the outpatient department at SIRH, William continues with speech therapy. He is now able to answer "yes or no" questions with 90% accuracy. He can name objects, adjectives, places, and verbs with 80% accuracy, independently. William requires only one repetition for 2-3 step instructions and can write his name, date of birth, full address, phone number and family member names with independence.

William has met many goals and has more in sight. He is attending train shows again and has increased his word-finding ability. Next on the list is being able to keep up while playing Bingo and Bunko with his friends. William wishes to thank his speech therapists, Rayna Stillwell and Mallory Miracle, occupational therapist, Lisa Hobbs, and physical therapist, Taylor Carta, for all the hard work they put into making him feel “back to normal.” Thankful for the wonderful care he received at SIRH, William is "still working hard every day."