Acute Rehabilitation Unit

Sweet Success - Getting Your Life Back

 Gordon Van Wert

As 53 year-old nationally recognized sculptor, Gordon Van Wert can tell you, rehabilitation therapy is not easy.  In the height of his career, Gordon suffered an embolic stroke and was admitted to North Country Regional Hospital’s Acute Rehab Unit after receiving care in two other facilities.  When he arrived at the ARU his left side was paralyzed.  He went through intensive therapy three hours a day for over two weeks.  Rehabilitation included physical, occupational, and speech therapy.  But what made the most impact on Gordon was the emotional support the staff provided.  “This stroke showed me my own mortality,” Gordon stated.  The staff was always there to support and talk to Gordon.  These conversations played a crucial role in his desire and drive to recover.  One of Gordon’s favorite things about the ARU was the family-style dinners.  This gave him an opportunity to eat at a table with others and talk about their experiences and their common goal of recovery
Since receiving treatment at the ARU, Gordon has slowly been gaining back some of his artistic abilities that were impaired by the stroke.  He continues working and making progress towards getting his career back on track.  If Gordon could pass anything on to other people going through the same things it would be to focus on the small hurdles.  “It can be so frustrating because your mind knows what you want to do; your body just can’t do it.  Take it slowly and work with caring professionals who will walk you through each step of the way, both with the therapy and the emotional support and understanding you need.”