Ramon R.

Ramon R.

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Ramon Rios was having a normal morning at work when he started to feel unwell. He told his boss around noon he was leaving for home. Ramon called his wife, who noticed he sounded different with slurred speech. She instructed Ramon to go to the hospital as soon as possible. He drove himself to The Hospitals of Providence East Campus.

According to Ramon, the symptoms started about an hour before he arrived at THOP East. His symptoms included right hemiparesis (weakness on the right side of the body) and dysarthria (slurred speech). Ramon's physicians diagnosed him with a left pontine infarct, also known as a pontine stroke. They started him on aspirin and statin.

Pontine strokes, which affect the pons region of the brain stem, can be particularly devastating. Ramon experienced significant functional deficits. Having lived at home with his wife and two children, Ramon's goal was to regain his independence. That brought him to Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital.

At Highlands, an individualized care plan was developed to help Ramon regain his prior level of function. Ramon's physician-led interdisciplinary team included his nurses, social workers, therapists, and the nutrition department.

Ramon got right to work on his recovery. He participated in three hours per day of therapy, with one hour each of physical, occupational, and speech therapies. The hard work would soon pay off for Ramon. He progressed to modified independent with his activities of daily living and mobility. He can walk a few thousand feet without difficulty, using only a single-point cane. His comprehension and expression have progressed, though he still requires some supervision with memory. After an upcoming follow-up with his primary care physician, Ramon will consult with a neurologist and continue with outpatient therapy.

Ramon recalls the support of his therapists and the impact it had on his recovery. “Jennifer (OT) told me, there is no such thing as you can’t do it!” That type of encouragement helped Ramon change his mentality. His therapists pushed him every day to slowly but surely get better. “Samantha (PT), pushed me to do things that seemed impossible.” Speech therapy pushed him, as well, and provided advice to follow after discharge.

“I am very grateful," Ramon reiterated over-and-over. "The staff helped me believe in myself and motivated me every day, they kicked my (butt) everyday…in a good way!”