Terry Hall of Yellville, Arkansas, lived his life in the fast lane until a massive stroke occurred in August 2015 that slowed him down. The day before his stroke, the 61-year-old drag racing enthusiast and school district facilities director experienced a typical day. He went to work, came home and spent time with his wife then went to bed. At 3:30 the next morning, Terry’s wife found him unresponsive.
“It felt like I died three times over,” said Terry.
After being diagnosed and treated in the emergency room, Terry spent the next six days in the intensive care unit before being transferred to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital, a partner with Washington Regional, in Fayetteville.
Upon admission to the inpatient physical rehabilitation hospital, Terry was only able to wiggle one toe on his right side, which was paralyzed from the stroke. He also suffered from aphasia, a communication disorder that results when parts of the brain that control language are damaged.
“I was really scared as I didn’t know how to do anything,” said Terry.
At HealthSouth in Fayetteville, Terry worked with physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and nurses to regain his independence and reach his functional and personal goals. He learned skills so he could dress himself again and independently care for himself. He also accomplished walking 250 feet with the assistance of a walker during his stay. Terry appreciated the personal attention he received from the hospital’s chef who met his special request of having a cheeseburger each night for dinner.
After 19 days of intensive therapy, Terry was discharged and had regained the strength and function needed to accomplish another personal goal of getting back to his dragster. Since age 18, he has devoted most of his spare time to the sport of drag racing as a mechanic and a driver. He immediately began working on the motors for the cars and eventually made his first pass in his dragster.
“With God’s help and HealthSouth, it’s all coming back to me now. I can do about anything I want,” said Terry.
Over a year after his stroke, he now has his mind set on helping others facing similar situations and has set a new goal of running his first 5K race in spring 2017. Though he never felt discouraged and kept his faith, his experience has brought a new appreciation of life.
“Every day is the best day I’ve ever had,” said Terry.