Belinda Hensley

Belinda Hensley had been sick for a few days when, suddenly, things escalated quickly. Belinda began experiencing the symptoms of a stroke, including facial drooping and left-sided weakness. After being rushed to the hospital, doctors diagnosed Belinda with a stroke on the right side of her brain.

Before the stroke, Belinda lived independently, enjoying working and gardening in her yard. But after the stroke, Belinda required significant assistance to reposition or get out of bed. She couldn’t even walk.

Belinda’s doctors told her she would need intense, frequent inpatient rehabilitation to regain her mobility. That led Belinda to choose Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital’s CARF-accredited stroke program for the next phase of her recovery. She heard that Gateway was “the best place around” and determined they provided her the best chance to recover fully.

As soon as Belinda admitted to Gateway, the rehab hospital’s interdisciplinary team sprang into action and developed a personalized care plan that included all three therapy disciplines: physical, occupational, and speech. Belinda did her part, too, and gave 100% during her three hours of therapy each day. As the days passed, Belinda made phenomenal progress.

Five-and-a-half weeks later, Belinda could stand and get out of bed independently, as well as walk over 50 feet with a rolling walker. She credits the entire Gateway team for her success but specifically noted the impact of two of her therapists: Tyler, a physical therapist, and Jessie, an occupational therapist. “Tyler was patient, encouraging, genuine, and treated me like family,” she stated. “Jessie was encouraging, thoughtful, and continuously showed concern for my personal needs. She was cognizant of pushing the limits but knew what I was capable of and gave me the encouragement I needed to accomplish the tasks at hand.”

Belinda discharged from Gateway, returning home to her family. She continues working on her recovery at home with a home health organization and plans to return to Gateway for outpatient therapy when ready. Each day, Belinda gets closer to her goal of walking without a walker and returning to gardening.

Belinda wished to share a piece of advice to others in a similar situation: “Therapy can be tiring and overwhelming, but it works. So give it 100% every day!”