A sudden and life-changing stroke
In November of 2007, Patty had a complete physical with her doctor. She was the picture of health–so good in fact, she was used in a survey her doctor was conducting, but on April 23rd, 2008 the unthinkable happened. While attending a safety video for Habitat for Humanity at Camosun College (Victoria BC), she started feeling numbness in her left arm, she started slurring and her blood pressure started to spike–she was having a stroke.
Patty was afflicted with symptoms common to stroke. Because strokes reduce the oxygen-rich blood supply of your brain, there can be neurological consequences. If parts of the brain that control body parts are damaged, they can no longer help control those parts. The loss of function can be mild or severe. In Patty’s case, it was severe.
Over the next seven years, Patty embarked on a long and determined journey to recover from her stroke. Reading through her highly detailed journals on the road to recovery, to say Patty tried a variety of treatments and therapies would be a vast understatement. Being a very active woman who enjoys swimming, horse-back riding, skating and more, her journey details being committed to all sorts of treatments based on the latest advice and research. Determined and undaunted, she went through each regime with vigor and commitment, recording and detailing her healing process on the way to recovery; what worked, and what didn’t work, and how she felt and grew along the way.
Kintech works with patients Canada-wide
Where we at Kintech entered the picture was when she saw us on TV, being showcased by Global Television for our revolutionary skAFO (Skate Ankle Foot Orthotic) designed for hockey player Dominic Cozzolino. Read Dominic’s story here. Her concern was that she lived in B.C. — nowhere near Kintech’s central Ontario offices. This wasn’t a problem though — we worked with her local physiotherapist and orthotist to create the assistive devices that helped her on the road to recovery.
Kintech’s technology — recovery, not dependence
Loving skating, Patty knew we could help her. She emailed us and then sent us her skate and we did an assessment. After some adjustments, she was absolutely thrilled with the ‘upgrade.’ Now, at the age of 60, she was skating with passion again. Though she had been skating through her recovery, the new skAFOs made her whole on the ice again. She could skate forward, backwards, was able to lift over bumps and her foot was flat the whole time.
We investigated Patty’s needs further for rehabilitation and set her up with a wrist-ranger. This is a powered pneumatic actuator designed to take her hand from a flush to extended position rhythmically. With regular use, over time, it helped extend her tight fore-arm muscles, leading to long-term relaxation and elongation of the muscles.
We also outfitted Patty with a P-Rom – passive range of motion generator for the ankle. We got a cast of her leg from her orthotist in B.C., generated a hinged AFO (ankle-foot-orthotic) and attached a pneumatic actuator assembly to her leg that allowed her leg to rhythmically stretch the calf muscle. There was a large reduction in muscular clenching in the calf, and she manages to go for the most part without aggressive orthotic equipment to walk. Patty went from wearing walking braces to mild orthotics to help her walk.
We can help — talk to us
Does Patty’s story resonate with you? Contact us using the form below and allow us the opportunity to help you!