Marty Jansons story begins when his wife, Inese, found him lying unconscious at the bottom of the basement stairs. She called 911 right away.
Doctors concluded that Marty had experienced a stroke due to high blood pressure. There was a bleed in the thalamus of his brain. Fortunately, it didn’t kill any blood cells.
After he was admitted to a hospital, Marty felt like he was in a weird dream, hoping to wake up soon, he says. Then reality set in and he realized that he couldn’t talk or move his right arm and leg.
“I was mad, angry and scared,” Marty says. “I didn’t know what I was going to do about my family and job.”
The anger dissipated when Marty realized he had the ability to get better. “I could have died,” he adds. “I knew that I just had to focus on my recovery.”
Marty immediately thought of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital for his therapy. “When my wife’s uncle had a stroke I did research for his recovery and Mary Free Bed was No. 1,” Marty remembers.
About a week later, Dr. Sampson Ho, a rehabilitation and physical medicine specialist, met Marty and invited him to Mary Free Bed. The decision was easy, and Marty arrived the next day.
Marty completed five weeks of inpatient therapy in the Stroke Program at Mary Free Bed. “I was happy to be at Mary Free Bed and the people there are happy. Therapists are always smiling and giving positive boosts of reinforcement. It’s contagious – people can feel it,” explains Marty.
Because of his hard work, Marty went from being completely paralyzed on his right side to being able to walk, talk, and move his hand and fingers.
Marty’s wife also received the support she needed throughout his recovery. “The social workers have been really helpful. I didn’t know what to do with the process or how to navigate through the paperwork. They helped put me at ease,” Inese says.
During Marty’s stay at Mary Free Bed, he and Inese participated in the stroke support group. There, they were inspired by other stroke survivors and they learned to take things a day a time.
“The hope is out there,” Marty says. “If you want it you can get better. Be happy.”