“Because of Siskin Hospital, I can be a normal grandfather.”
October 2, 2017
For several days, Charlie Hyde felt that something just wasn’t quite right, but he went on with his July 4 plans to visit family in Morristown. While there, he began having trouble walking. On a St. Simons Island vacation a week later, he fell four or five times. Alarmingly, by the end of the month, he couldn’t walk at all and was taken to the emergency room. By the process of elimination, physicians diagnosed him with Guillain-Barré Syndrome after a week’s testing. Once stabilized, he came to Siskin Hospital for his physical rehabilitation.
“From the beginning, the staff was wonderful,” says Charlie of his six-week inpatient stay. “When I asked the therapy supervisor how they could take a patient who can’t do anything and drop him into a three-hour-plus-a-day program, he just said, ‘We’ll show you.’”
Charlie made significant improvement, but he was still in a wheelchair when he discharged home. Once there, he found being wheelchair-bound a huge adjustment. Everyday activities were frustratingly difficult, and it was especially depressing not to be able to do the things with his grandchildren that he was accustomed to. This, however, proved a strong incentive in his outpatient therapy sessions.
“We were terrified by the time we came back as an outpatient, because you just feel like you’re in a free fall,” says Marie, Charlie’s wife. “As an inpatient, you have a strong safety net, with staff always there to help. But when you go home and aren’t completely recovered, you feel like you’re all on your own.”
By now, Charlie was determined to recover his mobility and he found his outpatient therapists ready to help him reach that goal.
“My therapists were great – always stretching me to do more,” he says. “And because I was motivated to regain my walking ability, I pushed them back by doing more than was expected.” They soon began to notice accelerated progress. Every couple of weeks he was able to do more than before.
While Charlie was in outpatient therapy, the new NeuroWellness program was just getting up and running. Charlie wanted to be a part of that, so he would spend his off-hours/days at Siskin Hospital’s Health & Fitness Center with one of the NeuroWellness specialists. This five-day-a-week regimen produced tremendous results and the fluidity of the program and the coordination between the NeuroWellness specialist and Charlie’s outpatient therapists really helped him make rapid progress.
Today, Charlie is walking independently again, working out at the Health & Fitness Center in the Silver Sneakers Program, and getting ready with Marie to move into the beautiful new home they’ve built. He’s also back to swimming and playing with his seven grandchildren.
“Because of Siskin Hospital, I can be a normal grandfather,” says Charlie.