Joyce Smart, right, hugs Luanne Champagne, physical therapist.

After suffering a stroke and undergoing surgery to remove plaque from her carotid artery, Joyce Smart was in need of rehabilitation.

 

Smart chose to do her therapy close to her Leominster, Massachusetts, home, at Life Care Center of Leominster. She arrived on May 1, 2019, needing moderate assistance with bed mobility, getting in and out of bed and walking, as well as lower-body dressing such as putting on pants, socks and shoes. She also needed someone beside her to steady her when walking and could only walk about 25 feet at a time with a rolling walker.

 

Six days a week, Smart took part in physical, occupational and speech therapies. PT focused on strength, balance and mobility, while OT addressed her self-care skills and ST helped her with swallowing, which had also been impacted by the stroke.

 

“Joyce was highly motivated and willing to accept any challenge given to her,” said Pam Walls, director of rehab services.

 

“I love the therapists, every one of them,” said Smart. “They got me up and moving, just like the Army.”

 

Smart completed therapy on May 24 and returned home independent and able to eat and drink normally again.