Our patient suffered a stroke last March, and eventually transferred to the Acute Rehab Center (ARC) here at St. Mark’s. Our rehab team treated him for 13 days, spanning from March 8 to March 20. He had multiple impairments associated with his stroke, including inability to stand or walk. He couldn’t complete basic transfers independently.
The patient’s primary goal was to attend the Junior Prom with his daughter at her high school in Evanston, Wyoming. Their small community hosts a tradition of fathers enjoying a dance with their daughters during the prom.
Our objective then became helping him achieve a level of independence that would allow him a “leave of absence” to attend the prom. With his first full day of therapy at the ARC on Saturday, March 9, and Junior Prom scheduled for March 16, we had just one week to accomplish the arduous goal.
During his stay at the ARC, we averaged 213 minutes of therapy daily, including physical, occupational and speech therapy. We targeted standing balance training and basic transfer ability, including his wife and daughters in the treatment sessions. Two days prior to the prom, we arranged a practice dance, having him slow-dance with his daughter in our therapy gym, with direction and cueing from our physical therapist for safety concerns and technique to improve his function.
Ultimately, our physiatrist granted the LOA, and the patient traveled to Evanston to attend Junior Prom. His family documented this wonderful event with multiple family photos that he and his wife shared with our rehab team upon their return. Our patient told me that the local newspaper, the “Uintah County Herald,” ran a story covering this emotional event.
He and his entire family expressed extreme gratitude for the efforts of our entire ARC staff. Our teamwork and dedication to a “patient first” mentality enabled him to attend this once-in-a-lifetime experience with his daughter. We truly provided care for him as if he was one of our own family.