When Michael began experiencing mild upper body weakness, it wasn't enough to disrupt his normal schedule. But it certainly caught his attention. As a former nurse, Michael was aware of the signs and symptoms that would prompt a visit to a physician. He made a mental note to pay close attention to the way he felt the following day.

That next day, Michael felt worse. Driving to pick up his daughter, he realized a visit to the doctor's office might be necessary. When he returned home, he told his wife, Minetta, an ER nurse, that he was still not feeling well.

Minetta noticed her husband's slurred and slow speech and called 9-1-1 right away. Michael was rushed to an emergency room where doctors did a thorough work-up. The emergency room doctors admitted Michael for further tests, which revealed that Michael had suffered a stroke.

After a seven day stay at the hospital, Michael was ready to discharge. His wife, as well as their family friends, advocated inpatient rehab for Michael. Shortly thereafter, he was on his way to San Joaquin Valley Rehabilitation Hospital.

“I’m so thankful for the support I received from my wife and friends to go to San Joaquin Valley Rehab Hospital,” stated Michael. “Everyone was efficient [at SJVRH] – if I pushed my call light, they came right away to make sure I got what I needed. The therapists taught me the right techniques and I was taught the proper way to continue getting better.”

As a former nurse, Michael valued the therapists' advice. They helped him rehabilitate, eventually leading to much improvement. He worked three hours per day with the physical, occupational, and speech therapists to regain as much of his former skills as possible.

“Once I transferred to SJVRH Outpatient Therapy, I started to work even harder,” said Michael. Today, Michael has regained much of his former independence. He drives himself to his therapy appointments, takes his vitals, and exercises twice per day, in addition to a daily walk with his wife and friends.

Michael shared that his motivation was his wife, family, and friends who made changes in their own lifestyles to help support him.