Rehabilitation Hospital Patient’s Story Speaks on Grace During Journey to Recovery After Stroke
Many cringe at the sight of snow on a cold winter day, but not Dioscar Kirenga. In fact, the Indiana snowfalls have been his favorite thing since he arrived in Fort Wayne from Rwanda, where heavy rain and tropical temperatures are the norm. Being able to witness the beauty of winter was an uphill battle for Dioscar, a 23 year-old immersed in the tedious requirements of medical school. After suffering a stroke just months before his 24th birthday, finding the best care possible for his recovery became an urgent priority.
December 5, 2019 would be a day Dioscar and his family would never forget. After suffering a stroke, he became confined to a Rwandan hospital bed in a room crammed with five other patients. During this time, he was receiving little medical intervention to help aid in recovery. His loved ones were determined to find another option. After countless days of searching for what was available back home in Indiana, fiancé Riley Scott and her mom, Salina, found Lutheran’s Rehabilitation Hospital, a 36-bed facility dedicated to helping patients regain independence from serious injuries or illness.
Both Riley and her mom immediately knew this was the best possible choice for Dioscar’s needs, but after having already spent over three weeks after his stroke in a hospital bed, the most critical time to begin the recovery process, there was alarming concern just how much therapy would actually do to help him.
The process for medical transportation to the United States for care commonly takes between 60-90 days to complete. After 20 days and one plane trip, Dioscar was on his feet doing therapy in the gym at the Rehabilitation Hospital.
Patients at the Rehabilitation Hospital are assigned a daily workload to include one hour each of occupational, speech and physical therapy sessions. There was no sitting this out. “The therapists were encouraging from day one,” Riley said. “There was an immediate sense that this was more than just a job to them and they genuinely wanted Dioscar to succeed.”
Upon arrival to the Rehabilitation Hospital, Dioscar was classified as needing “maximum assistance” or continuous, regular care. After intense rounds of therapy seven days a week for several weeks, paired with continual motivation from staff, he can now use a cane to get around more independently and is showing significant signs of improvement with speech. He still has a long journey ahead of him to full recovery, but staff at the facility have been amazed by the rapid improvements they saw within just three weeks of therapy. “It is because of God’s plan I am where I am today,” Dioscar explained.
On his final full day as a patient, Dioscar, along with a couple other patients, were able to go to the market for a therapy outing, which the Rehabilitation Hospital utilizes heavily so patients are able to practice newly reacquired skills in a public setting. Later that day, as all graduating patients do, he was finally able to stamp his handprint on the facility’s wall of fame. “From the attention to detail to the friendships he acquired, we could not have asked for a more complete level of care and would not be where we are today if it was not for this group of people who helped us at every step of the journey,” Riley stated.