When Sharon Eagan arrived at Life Care Center of Treasure Valley in Boise, Idaho, on March 30, 2017, she knew her life had changed dramatically.
Eagan was diagnosed with a right-sided stroke, which affected her dominant left side. Her left leg and left arm were both paralyzed, and she couldn’t move. Her mouth muscles that control chewing, swallowing and talking were affected. She had a feeding tube for nutrition and hydration. She couldn’t sit up, get dressed or even brush her teeth, and she required a mechanical lift for all transfers.
Occupational, physical and speech therapists worked with Eagan daily to improve her strength, coordination, balance and awareness of the left side of her body. She began to be able to sit unsupported on a mat table.
Eagan was soon advanced to a sliding board transfer tool. She was starting to be able to use her non-dominant right arm for self-feeding and grooming tasks.
After two months of hard work, Eagan’s perseverance paid off. She is now able to get dressed and transfer from one surface to another with the help of one person instead of three. She is starting to walk short distances with the use of a walker and a special brace on her left ankle and foot and the assistance of one person.
Better still, Eagan’s feeding tube was permanently removed.
Eagan’s husband, children and friends’ support and visits have kept her motivated. She completed her speech therapy on May 19, her occupational therapy on July 5 and her physical therapy on July 6.
“There was not one single time in two months that Sharon refused a therapy session,” said Susan Wachinski-Damm, occupational therapist assistant. “It was her cooperation and willingness to trust in the guidance of the therapy staff that has made hers a story of success.”
“Everybody has been really good to me,” said Eagan. “Susan and Kevin [Rousseau, physical therapist assistant] have helped me a lot.”
Eagan is now able to transition to an assisted living facility with her husband.