NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) – Stroke is the third leading cause of death and the leading cause of serious, long-term disability in the United States. The Rehab Center at Iberia Medical Center has a new mechanism to help patients get back on their feet a lot quicker.
60 year old Ken Tauzin suffered a stroke one year ago. It left him unable to move his entire right side of his body, causing him to completely rely on a wheelchair,
Whle driving his car, Tauzin noticed his face was drooping on one side and he wasn’t able to get his words out.
“My wife had a question and I answered her but it was gibberish. She looked at me and said we need to pull over,” Tauzin said.
Six hours later he suffered a stroke in the hospital, changing his whole world.
“I couldn’t walk without help. I couldn’t bathe. I couldn’t pick up my hand and it was bad,” Tauzin said.
Tauzin started at the Rehab Center at Iberia Medical Center only five months ago. Physical theraphist Michael Yoes Junior is using the newest technology. The freestep supported ambulation system.
“The patient wears a comfortable lightweight vest and I can use the pulley system to unload them. I can decide how much to help them. I can help a little or a lot. I can do the work to lift them out of a wheelchair. As time goes on I can give less assistance and let them,” Yoes said.
The track system is attached to the ceiling beams. Yoes says by taking away the fear of falling, patients tend to trust their bodies and relearn how to move a lot easier.
“As the human body goes through and Injury and it is fearful to fall, it doesn’t get as much practice because it’s a protective reflex. Once you can suppress that people just get more practice and they tend to do better in physical therapy,” Yoes said.
“You don’t have to worry about falling. You can challenge yourself to kicking the ball or whatever you need to do,” Tauzin said.
Tauzin is no longer wheelchair bound. He walks primarly with a cane, occiasionally on his own at home. He says he’s thankful therapy has him “up and at em” again.
“Don’t give up. You just have to push yourself. That’s what I do, I just push myself,” Tauzin said.
The risk of stroke increases with age, but doctors say those 65 and older are the most at risk.