David Eisman is a stroke survivor and recent Magee patient. I was his speech therapist, and he was kind enough to share his story with believe@Magee blog readers. David hopes others can learn from what he’s been through and take steps in advance to ward off a stroke.
Melissa Katz: Tell us a little bit about yourself and what brought you to Magee.
David Eisman: I’m originally from Northeast Philadelphia, and I currently reside in Blue Bell, PA with my wife, my two boys, and my in-laws. I work as a corporate accountant for a trucking company in West Chester, PA. On January 7, 2016, I had a stroke after dinner. I had a numbness come over my left side. I sent a text to my wife to come upstairs. She and the kids came upstairs. They immediately suspected a stroke and called 911. While my wife was talking to the dispatcher, my eldest son kept talking to me to keep me conscious until the ambulance team arrived. I was rushed to Mercy Suburban Hospital in East Norriton, PA and was then sent via helicopter to Thomas Jefferson Neuroscience. I was there for five days. At that time, my wife and I decided that Magee would be the best place to continue my recovery.
MK: Describe what rehab has been like.
DE: When I arrived at Magee, I was not in good shape. I could barely move my left side. My appetite was nonexistent, and my spirits were low. At the time of this interview, I have been working with my talented group of therapists for about five weeks. Although I still do not have feeling on my left side, I have movement. I am able to do some walking, including going up and down some stairs. I am able to get myself dressed, and as of February 22, I will be discharged from speech therapy. I know I still have a long road ahead, and I do have some down days, but I am excited about the progress I have made and look forward to continuing the journey to get me back to where I was.
MK: What advice would you give to someone who experiences a stroke?
DE: The best advice I can give is to try to avoid it! People should see their doctors on a regular basis and follow their instructions. In fact, I have already encouraged one of my friends who has high blood pressure to get to his doctor and start taking medicine, which he has done. I encourage others to learn from my misfortune. However, in the event of a stroke, I would certainly encourage getting rehab services at Magee.