Journeys of Hope: Stroke Prevention and Recovery with Paul’s Run Rehab
March 10, 2021
Surviving a stroke can be a life-changing event not only for the person who journeys through recovery, but for the family and loved ones who walk through recovery with them. For Christina Victor and the team at Paul’s Run Rehabilitation, every patient’s journey is one full of hope. Here, Christina shares her professional experience and knowledge about stroke prevention and recovery to help individuals reduce their risk factors and lead happy, healthy lives.
Signs of a stroke:
- Your face, arm, or leg suddenly becomes numb, especially if it occurs on just one side of your body
- You suddenly become confused or have trouble speaking and understanding speech
- You can’t see in one or both eyes
- You suddenly become dizzy, or lose your balance and coordination
- You have a sudden and severe headache with no known cause
Stroke prevention: What you can do
According to the Centers for Disease and Control Prevention (CDC), each year approximately 795,000 Americans have a stroke, which also makes it the most common cause of adult disability in the U.S.
Christina says that while there are certain risk factors for strokes that are out of your control like age and gender (the risk for stroke doubles with each decade from ages 55 to 85), there are plenty of factors you can control to reduce your risk.
Eat a healthy diet:
- Avoid foods high in sodium and saturated fats.
- Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein
- Exercise regularly and maintain your physical activity
- Do NOT smoke
- Monitor your blood pressure (especially if it’s high)
- Consult your doctor to understand your risk factors
Compassionate Care at Paul’s Run: Helping Residents and Families
As Lead Assessment Coordinator at Paul’s Run Rehabilitation, Christina helps patients progress to the next level of recovery in the safest way possible, while working closely with her team of nurses, therapists, spiritual leaders, and community life coordinators who plan activities for residents on a daily basis.
“When I say stroke recovery is a team effort, I mean it is a full team effort,” Christina emphasizes. She also says that the effects of strokes on patients depend on what part of the brain their stroke occurs. “The stroke could affect only one side of their body, whether they experience weakness in one arm or leg, or it could affect their ability to speak and process or understand words.”
While the effects of strokes among patients can vary from minor to severe, the one thing that remains consistent for Christina and her entire team at Paul’s Run is hope. “Never say never,” she says. “Sometimes a patient might plateau with their progress and people think there’s not much room for improvement left. Then all of the sudden that improvement happens and they’re reaching levels they weren’t reaching before,” Christina says reflecting on her experience with patients’ stroke recovery.
We never just say, ‘that’s it.’ We always give patients a true chance and believe in their ability to progress.
For Families and Loved Ones, We Will Always Be There
Over the years of Christina’s experience, she has noticed how the effects of a stroke impact not just patients, but their families and loved ones as well. The team at Paul’s Run Rehabilitation attempts to support families through stroke recovery with empathy and awareness.
“We want to really help them understand what’s going on to the best of our ability. We attempt to be there for them in any way we can because we understand how life-changing a stroke can be for the patient and their family.”
Constantly offering their support and encouragement, Christina says that the team at Paul’s Run tells families in stroke recovery to remain hopeful and enjoy what their loved one is giving them in the current moment, each and every day.
Christina believes the positive energy at Paul’s Run is contagious. With members of her own family living at Paul’s Run throughout the years, she says the core culture of this community is very family-oriented.
Supporting loved ones, friends, and neighbors, Christina says what she enjoys most about working in Paul’s Run Rehabilitation is the time she gets to spend with residents and their families. “With the genuine compassion I have for residents, I know as a leader here, I can feel good about making a positive impact. I’ve been a nurse for a long time and it’s great to be a member of the team here.”