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Sixty-nine-year-old Tom Liaboe of Prescott was watching television this past winter when he stood up and unexpectedly fell. His wife, Carol, heard the noise and ran upstairs to find Tom on the floor. He was barely able to move his right side, part of his face was drooping, and he was having trouble speaking.
Tom had suffered a stroke. He had become one of the nearly 2,000 individuals in northern Arizona who are admitted annually to area hospitals for strokes. Strokes are the leading cause of long-term disability in the nation, reducing mobility in more than half of stroke survivors age 65 and over.
Tom, a retired network engineer, had always been an active individual. He enjoyed gardening, yard work and working on home projects – one of which was building gazebos. He and his wife had moved to Prescott eight months before his stroke, having purchased a three-level home.
“Because I was so active, both my wife and I were really surprised when my stroke occurred,” Tom said.
After initial treatment, Tom was transferred to Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. The hospital provides specialized physical rehabilitation services to patients recovering from disabling diseases and injuries like stroke.
When Tom entered, he was unable to walk or speak. His right side was still extremely weak. A multidisciplinary medical team worked with Tom and Carol to develop customized goals for his recovery, which included receiving intensive physical, occupational and speech therapy treatments. Both he and Carol say they could really feel the impact from the teamwork.