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Stroke recovery: 3 stories celebrating stroke rehabilitation


In Canada, June is Stroke Awareness Month. Each year, more than 62, 000 people in Canada suffer a stroke and need different levels of stroke rehabilitation.

Bruyère offers the only dedicated stroke rehabilitation program in the region, in partnership with the Champlain Regional Stroke Network. For stroke awareness month, we wanted to share some life changing stories of stroke rehabilitation.

Over the past two years, our program has grown significantly with the increased demand for our services. Through our inpatient and outpatient stroke rehabilitation program, we serve people of all ages, with many different needs, and at varying stages of recovery. In addition to leveraging the expertise of several different care professionals, we integrate important stroke research into our program, such as non-immersive virtual reality, which works in alongside traditional therapies.

Working closely with patients and their families, rehabilitation teams establish custom therapeutic treatment plans that aim to rehabilitate patients so they can achieve or maintain their maximum potential, enjoy a high quality of life and return home.
Strokes do not discriminate.
A stroke can happen at any moment and at any age. No two strokes are the same; no two patients are the same. Here are the stories of three Bruyère stroke survivors who, working with their rehabilitation teams, regained their health and returned home:

Two years ago, at age 26, Caroline McGregor was on her way to work when she suffered a stroke. Caroline was admitted to Bruyère’s outpatient stroke rehabilitation program, attending twice a week. Only eight months after the stroke, Caroline returned to her day-to-day routines. She shared, “I’m back at work and feeling close to 100 percent. I get a little more tired than I used to, but that’s the only major remaining effect of my stroke. Amazing, isn’t it? I look at life differently now!”

At age 43, Tim Kerr was the commanding officer of a Royal Canadian Navy Destroyer ship. On June 21, 2012, with no prior history of stroke, Tim was found unconscious in the ship gym. Fast forward seven years, three months as a patient at Bruyère, and nine months in the stroke rehabilitation program, Tim is thriving. He shared recently in a CBC piece, “through Bruyère’s support, I was able to get back to my family serving others as I used to do in the military.” Hear him recount his story and share details on his latest challenge.
In October, 2018, Rob Martin was driving home when he suffered a stroke. Rob was admitted to Bruyère’s inpatient stroke rehabilitation program, where several members of the care team worked to help get Rob better. The staff on the fourth floor, where his room was located, were instrumental in his recovery. Without his care team, Rob feels that he would not be where he is today, back home in the community. Rob said, “They kept working with me; and consoling me to keep me going so that I wouldn’t give up.” And to honour his care team, he recently had their names tattooed on his side.

Rob is determined to continue to build his physical strength. He recently accompanied team Bruyère at Ottawa Race Weekend crossing the finish line with fellow Bruyère patient, Tim Kerr and he will be joining us for additional outpatient rehabilitation. We’re inspired by Rob’s drive to improve his health and give back to the community who supported him.