Lauren, 21, recovers from stroke with help from Mary Free Bed, Spectrum Health

Lauren Ziegler is a 21-year-old college student who loves to work out and prides herself on living a healthy lifestyle. When she woke up Dec. 6 to get ready for class, the Grand Valley State University senior knew something was seriously wrong.

“I kept collapsing, and I wasn’t able to get back up off the ground,” said Lauren, who was able to crawl to her phone and call her sister for help.

After Lauren arrived at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital, a Comprehensive Stroke Center, doctors determined she had experienced a massive stroke that caused paralysis on one side of her body and a host of other complications. Spectrum’s interdisciplinary team of experts worked to save her life, and two weeks later she was medically stable and ready to begin acute rehabilitation at Mary Free Bed.

When she arrived on Dec. 18, Lauren couldn’t stand without assistance or care for herself. During the next several weeks, she participated in the Stroke Program’s high-intensity gait training to help her regain strength and endurance.

“She was the perfect candidate and progressed very quickly,” said Lauren Lenca, a physical therapist on Mary Free Bed’s stroke and research teams. “She welcomed every challenge we gave her. Her motivation and work ethic will take her far in life.”

In this video, you’ll watch how Lauren worked diligently with her physical, occupational, speech-language and recreational therapists and has made an amazing recovery.

After graduation from Mary Free Bed on Jan. 25, Lauren headed home with her family to Commerce Township, a suburb of Detroit. She’ll continue outpatient therapy there, until she’s ready to return to school.



What an inspiration Lauren is to others. You go Lauren! You will be helping others in no time.

Lynn Etheridge

Will pray for LAUREN’s continued healing and recovery!!! Praise God for her incredible testimony!!!! Thanks for sharing this/her journey!!!


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