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    Gail - Motivation, Physical Therapy Helps Stroke Recovery

    Gail -
    Gail - Motivation, Physical Therapy Helps Stroke Recovery

    Back in 2002, single mom Gail Matthews was an active hiker, jogger and bicycle rider. She frequented a variety trails in Auburn, with her favorite being Stagecoach Trail. Gail’s daughter Kassie, then six years old, often rode her bike alongside her active mom.

    Then the unthinkable happened. After enduring a headache for several days Gail suffered a major stroke. Within minutes she lost her ability to speak, and she lost all mobility on her right side. "I was hospitalized at Sutter Auburn Faith Hospital for five weeks," said Gail. "Lying in my hospital bed I overheard doctors say that I’d never be able to talk, drive a car or work again."

    Gail could have accepted the fact that she was completely disabled. Instead she took up the challenge to function again. "I was too young to give up," she said. "My life wasn’t over yet."

    She began speech, occupational and physical therapy while at the hospital and slowly learned to talk and walk again.

    Once discharged from the hospital Gail continued out-patient rehabilitation therapy. Her neurologist, Kristin Ashley, M.D., in Auburn, referred Gail to Shaun Kile, M.D., at the Sutter Memory Clinic in Sacramento.

    Born right-handed, Gail is now left-handed and continues with speech therapy. But she is active again, walking, jogging and cycling on the trails. Kassie, now 14, continues to ride with her mom. "Pursue any and all avenues to reach your goals," she said. "I learned from my Sutter speech therapist that cognitive awareness is the key. When you know that everything is possible."

     

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