Tracey Yaegel

Tracey Yaegel lived a healthy and active life until one day, at home, she felt a sudden onset of left-sided weakness and had difficulty speaking. She rushed to the University of Cincinnati, where they informed her she had an acute stroke. The stroke occurred on the right side of her brain, affecting the left side of her body and her speech. After her time at UC Health, Tracey and her family chose Gateway Rehabilitation Hospital’s CARF-accredited stroke specialty program for intensive rehabilitation.

When Tracey arrived at Gateway, she needed assistance with all mobility and had little function on her left side. The stroke also left her with problems chewing, swallowing, and speaking. The therapy team at Gateway worked with Tracey on regaining her strength, endurance, and overall functional mobility. They focused on her left side strength, coordination, and motor skills.

The speech therapy team at Gateway worked with Tracey on relearning swallowing for safe eating and drinking. They also worked on improving her speech. Dr. Kenneth Mook, a board-certified Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Physician, also certified in stroke, managed Tracey’s recovery program. Her husband, Jerry, and her son, Logan, were by her side every step of the way and visited daily. She explained, “I have such a strong support system and wouldn’t be where I am today without that support.”

Upon discharge from Gateway, Tracey returned home feeling confident in her abilities. She completed speech therapy and made a full recovery with her swallowing and speech. She continues her recovery with Gateway’s outpatient department for physical and occupational therapy to focus on deficits in her left hand.

Tracey reports she is “getting stronger each day” and that she is walking and driving again. She is looking forward to an upcoming appointment with a representative from Bioness. They have a special device for her left hand. She is grateful for the Gateway team “going to bat” for her with her insurance company to get the device authorized.

Tracey shared, “I am so blessed to have been sent to Gateway. I am blessed to have worked with all therapists especially, Marissa and Taylor. God has been watching over me and putting the right people with me. I am going to my first stroke support group today at Gateway and am very excited!”