For seven years, Richard Fitzsimons has made the most of retirement. The free time has enabled him to enjoy his passion for working on cars and being part of the Flatlanders Car Club. Richard, 77, also loves spending time with his wife of 52 years and their dog. He finds joy in going out to dinner with his family and watching his favorite television show, Gunsmoke.
One late December day, Richard’s wife found him on the floor in their basement. He complained about weakness on his left side. The lifelong resident of Sterling was taken to the local acute care hospital. There, doctors diagnosed Richard with an acute ischemic MCA stroke with left hemiparesis.
Rehabilitation plays a critical role in post-stroke recovery. Richard’s wife works at a pharmacy in Sterling and spoke with nurses and physicians she knew. They recommended Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital for their certified stroke program and ranking among the top 10% of rehabilitation hospitals in the nation.
NCRH proved to be just what Richard needed. “Everyone’s positive attitude rubbed off on me,” he shared, becoming emotional as he reflected. “The attitude of everyone in the facility influenced my recovery.”
Richard specifically noted the impact of his physician, Dr. Witek stating, “Dr. Witek is great at managing my care and has a great bedside matter.”
As he approaches the end of his inpatient stay, Richard looks forward to what’s ahead. He is excited to get back to his car club, his wife, and his dog.