Frida: remarkable recovery through rehabilitation
Nearly three weeks after suffering a severe stroke requiring surgery, hope of recovery seemed to be running out for 71 year old Frida Zammit.
Frida had lost capacity in her left side and her family thought she would never walk again. With little sign of improvement, the hospital was planning to send Frida to a nursing home, as she would require high level care, beyond what her family could offer at home.
As decision time approached, there was an unexpected glimmer of hope. A slight movement in Frida’s lifeless left hand was detected. This was enough to hope that Frida could possibly benefit from specialised rehabilitation. She was referred to the rehabilitation team at Braeside Hospital.
Three weeks after the stroke, Frida arrived at Braeside. She was still so incapacitated that a hoist was required to move her in and out of bed. She also required full assistance with all the activities of daily life.
The multi-disciplinary team of doctors, nurses, physiotherapists and occupational therapists at Braeside developed a daily routine of rehabilitation therapy for Frida.
She commenced exercise in the rehabilitation gym every day. Slowly the program begun to make a difference. Eventually Frida was regaining movement, in time she was learning to walk again, using parallel bars. She moved on to using an A-frame to walk independently.
Over time, Frida came to love being at Braeside. So remarkable was her recovery, that her daughter Liz said that Frida was walking even better than before her stroke! Liz also noticed that in some ways, Frida didn’t want to go home.
One day Frida was resting when she had a dream that all the nurses and staff involved in her rehabilitation we going to be coming home with her. Her first concern was what she would feed them and she rang her son to discuss it.
“Go back to sleep mum, you’ve been dreaming,” he told her. But he was thankful that she was so peaceful and secure at Braeside that should would dream of bringing the staff home.
After three months as an inpatient at Braeside, Frida went home supported by family and the Transitional Aged Care Program, which supported her move from Braeside back into life at home. Frida receives ongoing support from Braeside, including regular visits to the day hospital.
A tiny squeeze of her hand, and the dedicated team approach of Braeside rehabilitation team, means Frida is able to live at home independently with the support of family