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Open-handed Progress

Parkview Medical Center’s Outpatient Rehab has helped Brian Moore recover movement in his arm and legs following a stroke and subsequent surgeries.

In any patient’s path to recovery there are obstacles.

For Brian Moore, it’s no different, but he sees them as something to get used to, and then get beyond.

“A lot of people give up right away,” he said.

But Brian said he’s looking forward to engaging in another round of rehabilitation with Parkview Medical Center’s Outpatient Rehabilitation team, located in the YMCA building on Spaulding Avenue.

Brian has been working on his recovery from more than 10 years, following a stroke during a trip to visit a friend in Pennsylvania.

“I was in the camper and I woke up that day, got up and just fell,” Brian said. “I thought I was just hungry, so I got back up and drove 18 miles on the Pennsylvania turnpike to get into a town.”

Brian said he found a hotel and went into its restaurant to find a bite to eat. When he couldn’t get up from the table and needed help to walk into the lobby, Brian knew something was wrong.

“I had seen a hundred strokes but didn’t know I was having one,” Brian said.

Cheryl and Brian MooreBrian and his wife Cheryl has just moved into their home in Pueblo West when he had his stroke and it would take weeks before they could find their way back.

Brain completed a stint in the hospital in Pennsylvania; then inpatient stays there and in the Denver metro area and Colorado Springs before finally getting home.

Prior to the stroke, Brian was an avid bicyclist and would do 100-mile rides on a weekend. But after the stroke, he had lost movement in his left side. His early rehab brought some of that back, but then a fall set Moore back in 2009.

Once Moore had surgery to repair this leg from the fall, he was sent to Parkview Medical Center’s inpatient rehabilitation program, before winding his way into Parkview’s Home Care program and finally its outpatient rehab center.

“Thank goodness for all of them,” Cheryl said, noting that during his inpatient stay at Parkview the occupational therapists worked with him on reefing normal, day-to-day tasks, including navigating a kitchen and cooking a meal.

“When I started therapy at the outpatient Rehab center, they asked me what my biggest concern was and it was my left arm,” Brian added.

Brian’s left arm served as a vestige of his stroke. Held in a perpetual 90-degree angle, Brian’s it ended in a clinched fist.

Brian said he credits a decision by the therapists to take a platform off his walker to what happened next. As he worked with the walker his strength began to come back into his arm.

As the weeks went by, Brian said, he was able to eventually lift his arm. And more wondrous he was able to open his left hand.

“He has never been able to do that in the 14 years since his stroke,” Cheryl said. “His hand would quiver to open it up. Now he can open it much faster and more often than before.”

“It was just unbelievable,” Brian added. “This is just such a terrible disease you risk losing hope that anything will happen. Then when it finally did it showed you what’s possible. They are all good people.”

Brian said the therapists with Parkview’s Outpatient Rehab are sources of constant encouragement. But they also remind him that there will be good days and bad in such a recovery. Brian was back to walking with a cane and even riding his recumbent bike when complications from his leg surgery set him back again.

But after a short while away from the rehab center, Brian said he’s eager to continue making progress again.

“Each one of the therapists at Parkview go back and look up things,” Cheryl said. “They have to know exactly what’s going on and figure out how to help you.”

Brian said his goals when he gets back to therapy are to get back on his feet, walk and get back on the bike.

“I’m 100 percent confident I will be able to,” he said.

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400 West 16th Street, Pueblo, CO 81003