Walking the recovery path after a stroke
Like a bolt of lightning Jack Lyons, Charlotte county resident, was struck by a stroke. Lyons had done everything right in his life. He didn't deserve the blow that was delivered -- but some things in life don't discriminate.
Lyons didn't get to pick the type of stroke that came to him on a typical Sunday afternoon. He and his wife just got home from church, and they made some coffee. Lyons reached out to his wife but couldn't speak. He collapsed on the floor and awoke in the emergency room. Over the next 48 hours, he started to develop severe brain swelling and became completely unresponsive.
His type of stroke demanded immediate attention in order to relieve the swelling in his brain. Physicians acted by taking out a piece of his skull roughly six inches in diameter. (Doctors stored the bone in his abdomen when it was safe to reattach it to his skull).
Lyons slowly began to stabilize and became strong enough to start intensive therapy at Health South in Sarasota. He had three hours of daily therapy geared to get him back on his feet. He then changed his therapy location to Port Charlotte Rehab Center, where he said his therapy is now more intense.
When he first arrived at the local outpatient facility, Lyons could walk about 35 feet once a day, with a lot of physical assistance. He now requires less help. Rehab staff said Lyons is highly motivated and is now walking 75 feet several times a day. Because Lyons wants to get back to the activities that he loves, they have brought in fishing and golf gear for therapeutic practice.
Lyons has always been an active man. He spent more than 35 years pounding the pavement as a sales professional for high-quality printing paper organizations. When he retired, he joined the Florida Native Plant Society. On any given walk outdoors, Lyons can name the type of plant and flower because of his dedicated study of flora and fauna.
His knowledge and interest in the preservation, conservation and restoration of the native plants of Florida led to him to volunteer for the department of parks and recreation for Charlotte and Sarasota counties. Every Thursday for 10 years, he would remove non-native species from the parks. This led to him also being a well-known nature guide for the department of parks and recreation. He has helped inspire people to appreciate the beauty and heritage of Floridian plants.
Lyons continues to be an inspiration today for anyone who crosses his path.
"If I could motivate just one person to keep up with their therapy, I will have accomplished what I want," he said. He sees too many people who don't work hard enough to accomplish their goals. Lyons said it's also important to pick the right therapy guides. His current rehab team is "superior due to their perseverance, patience and good humor."
For more information contact Port Charlotte Rehab Center at 941-629-7466.