Local Man Learns to Walk Again and Leaves HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital to Vote


In mid-August, Thomas Duska, 39, thought he was fighting the flu. Within days he was fighting for his life in a Cleveland hospital with endocarditis which led to a stroke, open heart surgery and a long recovery. He was transferred to HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Erie on Oct. 19 for extensive rehabilitation.

Today, election day, following two weeks of extensive therapy, the former Erie native will leave HealthSouth Erie, accompanied by an occupational therapist, in order to vote. After 86 days and two different inpatient hospital stays, his goal is to walk outside for the first time and into the polling site to vote in the presidential election. He will return to HealthSouth Erie later this afternoon.

HealthSouth Erie provides the technology, services and therapy to help patients reach their goals and highest levels of function through a customized, comprehensive rehabilitation program.

Stroke rehabilitation plans at HealthSouth Erie are designed to meet the needs of the patient. In order to restore the most function, stroke survivors are encouraged to begin therapy as soon as possible after the stroke. At HealthSouth Erie, patients like Duska receive therapy a minimum of three hours each day of physical, occupational and/or speech-language therapy to help them get the best benefits out of their time in the inpatient hospital.

While at HealthSouth Erie, Duska received physical therapy to help regain larger movements such as walking, arm motion and transfers by increasing his strength, coordination and endurance. He also received occupational therapy to teach him how to perform activities of daily living such as dressing, bathing and cooking through strengthening function.  

Source: HealthSouth

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Holli Wolfe

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Holli Wolfe

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