Virginia A.

Virginia A.

One night, Virginia Aceves found she was having difficulty getting into bed. "My head was so heavy," she recalled, "and the left side of my body wouldn't move at all."

Virginia shares a house with her friend, who heard her struggling. Coming in to see what was going on, she offered to call the paramedics. But Virginia insisted she was fine. She acknowledges she should have known better, having gone through this when her husband had a stroke several years ago. Eventually, Virginia relented and agreed to go to the hospital. There, doctors diagnosed her with a stroke.

To regain her function and independence, Virginia admitted to Ballard Rehabilitation Hospital for stroke rehab. During her stay, Virginia has been in good spirits and engaged with the staff. One member of that staff is Virginia's daughter-in-law, who works in Ballard's outpatient physical therapy department.

Others made an impact on Virginia for the way they not only treated her, but her family. One day her granddaughter, Nicole, came to visit during an occupational therapy session. The therapist showed Nicole how they worked with her grandmother's troublesome shoulder. Virginia was so pleased the therapist was encouraging Nicole to consider a career in occupational therapy.

Inspiration proved to be a two-way street, with Virginia impacting the staff, as well. "One of the nicest things about working at Ballard is to have the opportunity to get to know our patients," said Patty Meinhardt, Chief Marketing Officer. "It turns out that Mrs. Aceves and I know some of the same people here in San Bernardino and we had a great chat about them. It makes me so grateful to be able to be involved with her success story."

Virginia discharged home from Ballard just before Thanksgiving, excited to spend the holiday with her family.