Frederick Hisaw works on home skills with Heidi Park, occupational therapist assistant

Frederick Hisaw’s wife found him on the floor of his bathroom after having a stroke.


An ambulance took Hisaw to the hospital, where he was treated. On May 28, 2017, he came to Life Care Center of McMinnville, Oregon, to begin his rehabilitation. The stroke had partially paralyzed his left side, and he had difficulty communicating, swallowing, getting around and taking care of himself.


Hisaw jumped right into his therapy sessions, doing physical and occupational therapy seven days a week and speech therapy five days a week. The OT team retrained him in self-care skills such as grooming, getting dressed, bathing and managing his medications, while the PT team worked with him on strengthening exercises and mobility.


To practice walking in a fall-free environment, Hisaw used the AlterG® Anti-Gravity Treadmill®. Designed by NASA, the AlterG looks like a regular treadmill with a bubble-like enclosure from the waist down, which the user zips up to create the reduced-gravity environment. Up to 80 percent of the person’s weight can be relieved. This can reduce impact and injury when walking and running.


Speech therapists did oral motor exercises with Hisaw to get the left side of his face working more normally for swallowing and speech, and they helped him strengthen his thinking skills and ability to process language.


“Frederick is one of the hardest workers I have seen,” said Zo Tewksbury, physical therapist. “He was always eager to work with therapy to progress toward independence.”


“If you work hard, you don’t even have to think about it,” Hisaw said.


Hisaw returned home to his wife on July 19. He was independent in his mobility and only required assistance with his medications and supervision with bathing and hygiene.


“All the associates were very helpful,” Hisaw added. “They helped me with organizing my daily activities.” 

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