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Our Patients

    • Ryan Jerome 2

      Ryan Jerome

      On January 24, 2018, Ryan Jerome leaped to serve the volleyball when he lost control, fell and went completely numb. Unable to stand, an ambulance rushed him to SSM Health DePaul Hospital where, after testing and an MRI, doctors diagnosed the 32-year-old with a stroke. Once Ryan’s condition stabilized, he was moved to the hospital’s intensive care unit. After several days, he transferred to SSM Health Rehabilitation Hospital for additional medical care and recovery time.

      With his mom and girlfriend by his side, Ryan began his therapy journey. At first, it was intense and difficult. The stroke left him unable to walk, speak fluently or move his hands. With his right leg immobile, Ryan decided to make walking again his primary goal on the path back to independence. He was also eager to reconnect the parts of his brain controlling thought and speech. The first few days were daunting, but Ryan was determined, “It was like a rainy day every day, but something clicked in my brain and now every day is sunny,” he said.

      Ryan’s therapy program involved physical, occupational and speech therapy. Physical therapy had him taking a few steps within hours of admission. Therapists led him through exercises that built strength in his lower body. Occupational therapy helped him recapture writing skills and relearn self-care basics such as showering. Speech therapy worked on regaining language skills, a critical component of his job as a sales professional, by reading through voice fluctuation worksheets which focused on his tone and pitch.

      Ryan has since returned to work following a week and a half of intense inpatient and about two months of outpatient rehabilitation work at SSM Health. He’s hoping to reclaim his spot where he ranked in the top ten of 700-plus salespeople in his company. Ryan said of all the things he learned from his experience over the past few months, the most important is to “have patience and tolerance and don’t take anything for granted.”