“The therapists and nurses all helped me get better.”

Ken Patocka came to Life Care Center of McMinnville, Oregon, for rehabilitation after having a stroke.


When he arrived on May 11, 2016, Patocka could not walk because of the way the stroke had weakened his left side. It had also impacted his ability to take care of himself, speak and eat. He needed two people to help him with his self-care tasks, and he could only tolerate 5 minutes of physical activity at a time.


Patocka began physical, occupational and speech therapies with Life Care Center of McMinnville’s certified stroke therapists and other members of the rehab team.


He did physical and occupational therapy seven days a week, working to rebuild his strength, balance, endurance, range of motion and mobility, as well as retraining in the daily tasks he would need at home, like getting dressed and grooming.


Therapists used electrical stimulation to help condition Patocka’s muscles for activity, and the Bioness® tools helped him lift his foot while walking. He also used the LiteGait® as he was relearning how to walk. The LiteGait® is a movable harness system that allows patients to walk on a treadmill while the harness supports a portion of their weight. Therapists coach the patients while they walk, helping them to retrain their gait and walk normally again.


Patocka also worked with speech therapists five days a week to regain function of his facial and throat muscles. Over time, he was able to swallow more textures, until finally he reached his goal of eating and drinking normally again.


"I had a stroke and couldn’t move the left side of my body,” Patocka said. “Now I’m able to walk again and take care of myself. I’m going back home with my wife to enjoy life again.”


Patocka returned home on July 22, able to get around his house with a front-wheeled walker. He could take care of himself with modified independence.


“Ken was highly motivated and willing to try anything we asked, even in the beginning when he couldn’t physically do much at all,” said Bethany Dobie, physical therapist.


“I liked it here,” said Patocka. “The therapists and nurses all helped me get better.”