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Emile's Story

Jan 1, 2020


Emile wasn’t sure why he felt dizzy cutting the grass on Sept. 17, 2018.  He went into the house for water and ended up taking a nap.  When he woke up, he was still dizzy.  He called 911 and was taken to the hospital where he was treated for high blood pressure and sent home. 

“Instead of getting better, I got worse. That night, I couldn’t move my left arm or leg, and I was having trouble talking.  I went to Harper University Hospital where I was told I was having a stroke.”

Emile remained in the hospital for a few days before being transferred to Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM) to begin an intense inpatient  stroke recovery program. 

“I couldn’t believe any of this was happening to me. I was so scared that someone was going to have to bathe me, dress me and care for me for the rest of my life. I didn’t want that to happen.”

At RIM, Emile would put in a full day of physical, occupational and speech therapy and then continue to work on the exercises he learned in therapy after hours on his own. He calls it his Kobe Bryant mentality…determination!. 

“The therapists are so good.  I knew it was about putting in the time and taking advantage of everything they had to offer like therapy and adaptive yoga. Even today, I work out at RIM’s Brasza Fitness Center three days a week doing a boot camp and lots of stretching and weight training.”

Emile even credits his rehab team for helping him make important lifestyle changes, which resulted in him dropping 25 pounds. He shops in the fruit and vegetable aisle more frequently now.   

“My therapists are just amazed at how far I’ve come in less than a year. I’m talking perfectly, walking and using my arm. I still have a way to go, but I know with hard work, I’ll get there.”