Brian McDonald

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After suffering a stroke, Brian turned to SRI to help him regain his independence.

Brian McDonald, 55, was used to being a busy man. He worked full-time at Michelin as a mold assembly operator and owned a consignment shop. During his spare time, Brian enjoyed golf and seeking unique items for his store. But one November day, Brian’s world turned upside-down.

Visiting his mother, Brian noticed the right side of his body felt numb. “It was like it went to sleep,” he described of the sensation. Brian’s daughter, who works in the healthcare industry, recommended a visit to an urgent care facility. “From there, I was sent to Charlotte, NC, where I was diagnosed with an intraparenchymal hematoma.” This is when blood pools in the brain. Brian’s condition required a craniotomy.

“After surgery, I realized there were things I couldn’t do,” Brian recalled. “I never thought at 55 I would be in a situation where I couldn’t feed myself, bathe or go to the bathroom alone.”

For someone who lived such an active life, the sudden lack of independence proved challenging. But Brian wouldn’t allow this to be his new normal.

“After 30 days in the hospital, I was stable and ready for the next step,” Brian noted. The hospital recommended acute rehabilitation. “I knew about Spartanburg Rehabilitation Institute from a family member,” said Brian. “The hospital was highly rated from friends and family, so it was an easy decision.”

Brian considers this to be a critical point in his road to recovery.

“Never did I expect what a good decision it was! Everyone from the front desk staff, dietary, nursing, therapy, and the guys that clean the floors were wonderful. There are people I remember from all areas of the hospital. They worked hard for me every day and I didn’t want to let them down.”

Brian certainly didn’t let anyone down. His hard work allowed him to discharge from inpatient rehab and return home.

But his work wasn’t done. Brian still had goals he wanted to achieve. “After I was released from the inpatient side they continued therapy on an outpatient basis,” Brian said. “I continued to get better and went back to work part-time 5 months later. Not only was I working, but doing normal activities again like cutting the grass and driving.”

“This experience reaffirmed my faith in God and people,” he continued. “Everyone at SRI contributed to my success and I am proud to share my experience.”

With Brian’s stroke in the rear-view mirror, he looks forward to living a healthier life. “In the future, I want to be more educated on my health and be proactive to stay healthy,” he said. “This was a wake-up call and I have reprioritized things in my life.”