Mrs Neodesha Liyanage from Sri Lanka benefited from regular and coordinated rehabilitation following her stroke

I am Mrs Neodesha Liyanage from Sri Lanka, a 36 year old house wife and mother of a 10 year old son and a 5 year old daughter. My husband is a school teacher. Last year, on September 11th, I got up early in the morning as I had to send my children to Sunday Dhamma school. At 11 am while I was cooking, I felt my mouth was deviating to the left side and I had weakness on the right side of my face. I realized that something abnormal was happening and I called my husband. He took me to the National Hospital with the help of my mother. I was admitted to a medical ward and underwent a CT scan of my brain. It was normal and I was on follow-up observation.

The following morning I noticed weakness of my right arm and right leg. I could not move the right side of my body. Then I tried to tell this to the ward staff but I was speechless. When I tried to drink some water I developed a vigorous cough, which indicated that my swallowing was also affected. Fortunately, I was continent. A second CT scan of my brain was done and it showed a massive left middle cerebral artery infarction (the artery which supplies blood to the middle part of the brain on the left side was blocked by a clot). Hence, a large part of the brain cells were dying, including the area for speech. All my disabilities could be explained by this second CT scan.

I was admitted just with right facial weakness but it ended up a full blown picture of a stroke, which I did not expect at all. I thought I would be going back home soon with medication. I expected a quick recovery from my disabilities. But it was not that quick, as I was not aware of the course of the stroke on human beings. After one week in the medical ward, I was transferred to the stroke unit for long term rehabilitation.

In the stroke unit, I felt comfortable, because the stroke team is more caring. Treatment and rehabilitation were made to run in parallel. The rehabilitation program consisted of three major components. They were physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. All three therapies were arranged according to a daily schedule. The outcome of all these therapies and treatments was reviewed every Thursday during the stroke meeting, which was led by the senior consultant neurologist. As I was a young stroke patient, I was investigated extensively.

My main worry was my affected speech which made me so embarrassed. Because I couldn’t follow what others said (affected reception) and at the same time others couldn’t understand what I said (affected expression).

Day by day, my speech, swallowing and other physical disabilities improved. The caregiver was my dearest mother who was with me throughout the hospital stay. She was a courageous woman so I didn’t have any fear after being touched by the stroke. My husband, my two children, my brother and sister were with me giving me the maximum moral support. All my friends and neighbours visited me at hospital.

I left the stroke unit after one month with good swallowing, normal speech and ability to walk without support. Still my right arm is weaker than the right leg. But I am independent in day-to-day activities. Now I attend the stroke clinic and stroke support group meetings monthly, retaining my hope of cooking in the future, which I am so good at. I would like to thank everybody who helped me in my fast recovery. The biggest thanks should go to the senior consultant neurologist, who leads the stroke team successfully

Mrs Neodesha Liyanage from Sri Lanka benefited from regular and coordinated rehabilitation following her stroke Reviewed by Sarah Belson on Tuesday, July 04, 2017 Rating: 5

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