Stroke Awareness Month: Patient Profile

PannyRhodes2In her distinguished career, including prominent positions such as state delegate and rector of the Virginia Commonwealth University Board of Visitors, Panny Rhodes has always been active and independent. In fact, she and her husband Jim had returned from a trip to the Mediterranean just days before Panny experienced a life-changing event – a devastating stroke.

Faced with decisions and many unknowns about the future, they began focusing on her recovery, starting with inpatient rehabilitation options.

“There were several recommendations, but it was pretty clear after we saw what a tremendous facility this is with the modern equipment and all the experienced therapists and doctors,” Jim says of Sheltering Arms. “It was a whole new world when we got here.”

In her three and a half week stay at Sheltering Arms Hospital, Panny progressed from almost complete paralysis on her right side to walking with a brace and cane. This intense rehabilitation primed Panny and Jim to continue working on her independence at home and through outpatient therapy. Since then, therapy sessions have been decreased from five to three days per week based on the tremendous progress she has made.

Having supervised her grandchildren decorating the Christmas tree, she was gratified to have gained enough independence to remove the ornaments herself after the holiday season. She is also back to folding clothes, doing dishes and even paying the bills.

“Those aren’t very fun things to do, but boy, when you can’t do them it’s a big deal,” Jim chuckles.

According to Mr. and Mrs. Rhodes, the real indication of her recovery will be when they are able to travel again.

“I want to go on a cruise,” declares Panny emphatically.

If her past is any indication, all bets are that we will be wishing them Bon Voyage in no time.

Click here to read more patient stories in the Sheltering Arms 2012 Report to the Community.


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