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Triolya's Stroke Story

Dec 27, 2020

As a mom of three boys, Triolya (Tri) Carruth worked the midnight shift so she could help with after school activities and sports. On June 2, 2011, she went to work at DMC Harper University Hospital just like any other night.

“I was going into a patient’s room when I felt the worst head pain,” said Tri. “I fell to the floor and heard them call a code.”

Tri was having a stroke. Fortunately, her stroke occurred at Harper University Hospital, one of the nation’s top stroke treatment and research programs. Doctors quickly repaired her ruptured aneurysm, inserted coils into the aneurysm to stop her brain bleed and placed her on a ventilator.

Spending nearly two weeks in a medically induced coma, she woke up facing a long recovery.

“My right side was so weak,” said Tri. “I couldn’t move my hand or stand. All I wanted to do was to walk again for my boys and godson. After being released, my sister fought hard to get me into the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan (RIM).”

Three days a week, Tri did outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapies. She worked with putty to move her hand, practiced walking and worked on her memory and speech.

“My team at RIM was unforgettable,” said Tri. “Their hard work got me going again. They changed the course of my life. And I will never forget them.”

Tri never gave up. During her recovery, she lost her house and car and struggled to keep her family afloat. But through hard work and the help of her rehab team, she went back to work eight months later.

“I returned to Harper, but when I saw an opening at RIM for a medical office assistant, I jumped at the opportunity,” said Tri.” Today, I work at RIM alongside some of the people who gave me my life back. I can’t think of a better place to be.”

A stroke can be devastating, robbing people of their mobility, speech, independence and freedom to live life. But recovery from stroke is possible. Research shows that early and specialized rehabilitation can help maximize a person’s physical and cognitive recovery and enhance quality of life.

Click here to learn more about stroke rehab.