Richard W.

Richard W.

With a strong family history of stroke, Richard Wittke has tried to live a healthy lifestyle. "I haven't eaten red meat in over 40 years," said Richard. "I have adopted a very strict diet. I enjoy walking, golfing, and exercising daily. I was confident I was doing everything possible to prevent a stroke.

One morning Richard woke up and spilled a glass of water. "When I tried to explain to my wife what happened, my speech was slurred," he recalled. "My wife called the paramedics and they transported me to Eisenhower Medical Center." At Eisenhower, Richard underwent brain scans, confirming he suffered a stroke. "After my diagnosis, I started having left-sided weakness. I became very fearful that I would not regain use of my left hand."

Determined to restore his independence, Richard came to Vibra Rehabilitation Hospital of Rancho Mirage for inpatient rehabilitation. He chose Vibra after speaking with a clinical liaison about Vibra's services. "After that conversation, I was convinced Vibra was the best place for me to recover and regain my lost function."

Richard wasn't disappointed with his decision. "All the nursing staff and therapists are great at Vibra," he stated. "The entire experience has been very positive and the staff took such good care of me."

That doesn't mean Richard wasn't afraid. "It is a very scary experience when you have total control of yourself, then all of the sudden, not to be able to perform the most basic tasks," he shared.

Richard allowed that to motivate him while at Vibra. "I worked hard here at Vibra because I was not going to accept that I would remain paralyzed on the left side of my body," he said. "I have taken a lot of pride in the fact that I am in my eighties and have maintained my independence. I haven't had to rely on assistive devices."

All the hard work paid off. "I have already regained complete function of my left side, and my speech is back to normal," Richard shared. "I am going to continue to exercise every day and continue a healthy lifestyle."