Access to the best stroke care: Remarkable recovery from left-side paralysis after stroke

Patient Story

"The Saturday before my stroke I rode my motorcycle for six hours," says Steven Barsamian, who had a stroke that affected the entire left side of his body. "The Sunday before I was working outside my house from 9:30 in the morning to 4:30 in the afternoon. I worked all day Monday in my office, then Tuesday the whole world changed for me."

Watch Steve's recovery journey from left-side paralysis after stroke

When he arrived at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, he was unable to move his arm or leg, and needed assistance to sit up. Steven's interdisciplinary rehab team established a customized treatment plan to get him on his path to recovery, including use of innovative therapy technology.

"They taught me from infancy, frankly," explains Steve, "how to get up, how to maneuver into a wheelchair. Just learning to go from my bed into a wheelchair—it was quite an ordeal."

While at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital, Steven participated in three hours of therapy per day, five days per week, including physical, occupational and speech therapy, with an emphasis on helping him have a smooth transition back into "normal" life.

"Our goal is to help patients recover to their highest level of function possible, as fast as possible, using the best technology and hands-on therapy available," says Brian McDonald, DO, medical director of the outpatient mild traumatic brain injury and concussion program at Bryn Mawr Rehab.

Treatment for left-side paralysis after stroke

Stroke patients like Steven have access to cutting-edge technology including robotic exoskeletons and body weight-supported walking devices, such as the Bioness Vector and the Lokomat, as well as upper extremity robotic devices, all of which help the patient to rebuild strength and coordination of movement and improve overall function. Technology coupled with the skilled hands of our expert clinicians, provides our patients with the best opportunity for success.

"Bryn Mawr Rehab has a complete collection of amazing equipment that they can use to help you regain your body function," says Steven. "The first time I stood up and walked on the Lokomat was just an incredible experience. I was so excited."

Therapy for Steven also included horticultural therapy, an opportunity for him to practice motor skills and coordination, and a welcome change of scenery.

"When I first walked into the horticulture center, I cried," he says. "It takes you out of that hospital room into the smells of plants and flowers. It's just priceless."

After the inpatient rehab stay, patients may benefit from ongoing specialized services in the outpatient stroke rehab program. The inpatient and outpatient care team work together to ensure a seamless hand-off and establish next steps in your care routine. Patients and families are part of the goal-setting process which helps our team develop a comprehensive plan of treatment in the outpatient setting. This treatment plan may also include activities to be performed at home.

"We're fortunate to have such an excellent stroke after-care program for our community," says Dr. McDonald. "Our patients get the best possible care here at Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital."

If you or a loved one has had a stroke, it's essential to receive specialized stroke after-care as soon as possible. For outpatient stroke recovery rehabilitation, call 484.596.5000.

The Stroke Recovery Program at Bryn Mawr Rehab excels in complex stroke treatment. At our stroke rehabilitation center, we care for more than 600 stroke patients each year, using traditional and non-traditional modalities to support our stroke patients in their recovery. As one of the leading centers for physical medicine and rehabilitation in Pennsylvania, Bryn Mawr Rehab Hospital delivers innovative services for patients who need inpatient or outpatient treatment in the Philadelphia region and western suburbs.