All Posts Tagged: Stroke

Bob Mogus

Bob and his wife are thrilled they chose NCRH for his stroke rehabilitation

Robert (Bob) Mogus has lived in Sterling, Colorado, his entire life. Bob, 73, is retired and loves playing golf. He also loves being with his wife, with whom he is about to celebrate 50 years of marriage. Bob is a father of three, grandfather of five, and great-grandfather of three. He loves doing yard work and, above all, spending time with his spouse.

One day, Bob woke up from sleeping to find his right leg and arm were numb. They wouldn’t move. Further concerning, Bob’s speech was slurred. He was taken to the acute care hospital and diagnosed with a stroke.

Bob’s case manager at the acute care hospital recommended Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital (NCRH). NCRH had a good reputation, and Bob and his wife liked the location. So they decided to go along with the case manager’s recommendation and transfer to NCRH.

“What a fantastic place!” Bob stated about NCRH. “The therapists were great! They really worked me hard so I can go home.”

“Dr. Witek and Dr. Asadi are great physicians and took outstanding care of me,” Bob continued. “The nursing staff was beyond fantastic. The food was good! My case manager, Celeste Coraggio, really helped me with all the paperwork and kept me informed all the time of what was going on with my discharge plan.”

“There’s not a single bad thing I can say about NCRH!”

Bob was filled with excitement as he prepared to discharge home from NCRH. He looks forward to getting home with his wife and family. Bob is now walking with a cane and has full movement of his right arm. Bob also looks forward to seeing his golden retriever, Duke.

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Janet Smith

Janet is reunited with Daisey after recovering from a stroke at NCRH

Janet Smith, 79, moved to Windsor, Colorado in 2018 to be closer to her three daughters and five grandchildren. Before the move, Janet lived in Idaho with her husband, who passed away. She loves living in her retirement community where she attends church, exercise classes, and does water aerobics. Janet also walks two miles a day with her dog, Daisey, and enjoys making chocolate chip cookies and eating ice cream, and the company of her many friends.

During one of her exercise classes, Janet began to feel unwell. Thankfully, a retired nurse in the class made sure Janet got medical attention. Brought to the acute care hospital, Janet was diagnosed with a stroke and left-sided weakness.

Upon discharge from the acute care hospital, Janet chose Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital for her recovery. The rehab hospital is close both to Janet’s home and her family.

“Every employee was so nice and happy!” Janet said about her time and NCRH. She sang the praises of every department. “The food was great! The kitchen staff was so happy and always more than willing to accommodate my diet preferences! The therapy was so fun! Everyone was always smiling. And the nurses were wonderful, attentive, and happy. They would always make me feel like more than just a patient, but a friend!”

“I just loved how every one of the staff members always cared about my experience and asked questions to ensure I was doing well my entire stay.”

Having made significant improvements, Janet excitedly discharged home to Daisey. To continue advancing her recovery, Janet completed outpatient therapy at NCRH. She keeps her exercises on the fridge at her apartment, has resumed walking two miles per day, and is enjoying life with her friends and family.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better place to go. I recommend NCRH for the positive atmosphere!”

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Doug Harsha

Doug looks forward to walking his daughter down the aisle without an assistive device

Doug Harsha had big plans. His daughter was getting married, and the father of the bride looked forward to walking her down the aisle.

But as Doug looked forward to that special day, his plans were interrupted. On February 1st, Doug had a stroke at his home in Loveland, Colorado.

Before his stroke, Doug lived an active and independent life, working as a network engineer contractor for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The 70-year-old loves following SpaceX, reading, having coffee with friends, and going to church. Doug and his wife, Jonni, have been married for 37 years and have two daughters.

While in the acute care hospital, it became clear Doug wouldn’t be able to resume his active lifestyle without intensive rehabilitation. A physician friend recommended Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital, a Stroke Center of Excellence.

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Linda Flores

Linda Flores appreciated the hard work and encouragement from her care team while she recovered from a stroke.

Linda Flores and her husband Steven have lived in Loveland, Colorado for the past eight years. Married for 49 years, Linda and Steven love to spend time with their three children and three grandchildren. In her retirement, Linda enjoys gardening, being a homemaker, and camping in her motorhome.

Linda suffered a right posterior cerebral artery stroke and chose to recover at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital. She heard great things about their care and knew it would be easier for her family to recover closer to home.

Immediately impressed with her team of therapists, Linda felt motivated to work hard every day. She stated, “The therapists are very dedicated. They kept encouraging me and they are all so patient and very positive! The nurses, PCTs, and doctors were excellent. They are available at all times showing incredible teamwork.”

Linda is thankful to everyone at NCRH for their hard work, determination, and emotional support. As she continues her recovery at home, Linda looks forward to picking up old hobbies like gardening. She’s also excited to be around her family and dogs once again.

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Norma Prince

Norma Prince chose the certified stroke program at NCRH for her post-stroke recovery

A full-time mechanical engineer, Norma Prince leads teams that design medical devices. The 57-year-old has always been very active. Norma has been married for 33 years and has a 25-year-old son. Beyond her family and work, Norma’s hobbies include reading, hiking, and biking.

One day at home, Norma began experiencing headaches, followed by weakness on her left side. Concerned, she sought medical evaluation. Tests provided a diagnosis. Norma suffered a right frontal-parietal intracranial hemorrhage, a type of brain bleed.

Once stabilized, Norma needed rehabilitation before she could safely return home. A friend who participated in outpatient therapy at Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital (NCRH) recommended the facility. Additionally, the stroke specialty program at NCRH is certified by The Joint Commission. Norma decided that NCRH was the right choice for the next stage of her recovery.

Norma’s experience at NCRH has been even better than she expected.

“The care has been excellent!” Norma shared. “They have the most updated rehab equipment, which has helped with my recovery. The food is exceptional!”

The staff at NCRH also stood out to Norma.

“Dr. Arrogante listens well and cares about my recovery. The physical and occupational therapists have been outstanding, and all have very positive attitudes. They are always cheering me on! Every one of the staff members has been great and really have genuinely taken an interest in my recovery. Even the cafeteria and housekeeping staff make you feel welcome and take an interest in your recovery. And since my mother was a PCT, I really appreciate everything the PCTs do here at NCRH. They are all very dedicated to their job.”

Norma looks forward to getting back to working and hiking. After discharging from NCRH, she returned for outpatient physical and occupational therapies. “I was able to walk with a walker after a short time thanks to the guidance and expertise of the inpatient physical and occupational therapists. I’m now working with the outpatient therapists to walk on my own. I highly recommend Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital for stroke recovery,” she shared with a smile.

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The Role of Support Groups for Caregivers Dealing with Strokes

As caregiver for a loved one who has suffered a stroke, you play an important part in the recovery process from the beginning. But it’s a role that also comes with many challenges and can cause high levels of mental, physical and emotional stress – both for you and the stroke survivor.

Many caregivers feel inadequately prepared to deal with the challenges of caring for someone with disabilities brought on by a stroke. But that’s why the importance of support groups – and support in general – cannot be emphasized enough.

Caregivers and Support

It’s estimated that there are 5 million stroke survivors alive in the U.S. today, with nearly 30% of them being permanently disabled as a result of their stroke. The acute nature of the disease puts extra stress on caregivers who are typically serving their same roles within their own family while also handling the duties of a caregiver.

  • Emotional Support
    According to one study, the importance of emotional support for caregivers is crucial. And the importance of informal support is similarly important, because many caregivers are apprehensive about seeking formal support for a variety of reasons, including financial and time spent apart from the care recipient.
  • Caregivers, Physical Help and Overall Health
    Caregiving can take its toll physically, as one study indicated that caregivers suffer from a variety of physical symptoms, including, headaches, fatigue, joint pain, disrupted sleep patterns, as well as a variety of emotional symptoms such as sorrow. These symptoms can increase as caregivers get older, and emphasizes the importance of friends, family, or outside help, in assisting with the physical aspects of care, including the activities of daily living. Over 80% of participants of one study reported fatigue and stress because of their caregiver duties.
  • Online Support
    The emergence of the Internet has made healthcare information available 24 hours a day and has become an important resource for caregivers. Professionally-managed online support groups are gaining credibility, and are giving caregivers the opportunity to receive personalized information through discussion groups, and also the opportunity to talk live with nurse specialists.
  • Psychological Role
    The importance of social support, which includes both emotional and physical support, has been shown to have a positive impact on a caregiver’s psychological well-being. Without assistance or support, however, experts agree that the caregiver can become the “second patient” within a family. The good news, however, is that support is available in ways that it never was before.


Join Our Stroke Support Group November 15!
4:00 – 5:30 PM
4401 Union Street
Johnstown 80534


For more information contact Leah Davis at (970) 619-3400

Refreshments are provided.  No cost to attend.

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How Diabetes Relates to Heart Disease & Stroke

Being diagnosed with diabetes usually means you have to watch your blood sugar, mainly through diet, exercise, and medication. However, diabetes can cause a variety of complications throughout the entire body—but how?

The answer is the circulatory system.

The circulatory system is responsible for the transportation of blood throughout the body, providing nutrients and oxygen to cells, as well as transporting waste and carbon dioxide away from them. When the body begins producing and retaining too much glucose (blood sugar), the substance is not isolated to one sector of the body. The circulatory system pushes and pulls the glucose throughout the entirety of the body via the blood. The excessive amounts of sugar cause damage to blood vessels and the organs that are associated with those vessels suffer the consequences.

Diabetes and Heart Disease

One of the organs that most severely feels the effects of diabetes is the heart. Simply being diagnosed with diabetes dramatically raises a patient’s chances of encountering heart disease. The chances of getting heart disease at a younger age than most, as well as the severity of the heart disease itself, are increased when diabetes enters a patient’s life.

As the vessels supplying blood to the heart become damaged, clogged, or hardened by the high presence of glucose, the heart’s ability to receive (and therefore send out) blood is negatively affected. Types of heart disease that are specific to diabetes are Coronary Heart Disease (a buildup of a substance called “plaque” in the arteries), Heart Failure (when the heart is unable to pump the necessary amount of blood), and Diabetic Cardiomyopathy (a disease that damages the actual function and structure of the heart).

Diabetes and Stroke

Another major organ that suffers damage from diabetes is the brain. The brain thrives on oxygen-rich blood in order to function, and when the blood vessels that provide the blood are affected by excessive glucose, very serious complications can occur. When a vessel responsible for providing blood to the brain closes off or bursts, that part of the brain will become oxygen-deprived, and the cells will die. This can result in speech impairments, vision problems, and mobility issues, including paralysis. Like heart disease, being diagnosed with diabetes can significantly raise your chances of stroke.

We know the struggles that patients encounter as they work to regain lost abilities, and our goal is to help those patients overcome them. We feel it is also our responsibility, however, to educate our community about the causes of these conditions, in the hopes of preventing them.

We will continue to explore the topic of diabetes and circulation in our next post, as we learn about lifestyle changes and management techniques that may help patients cope with (and even prevent) these complications.



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Aphasia Awareness Month

June is National Aphasia Awareness Month, and, because aphasia is something the team here at Northern Colorado Regional Hospital encounters frequently, we feel very strongly about spreading awareness of this condition.

Aphasia is a neurological condition that is acquired. This means that something, often a stroke, inflicts damage to the brain and causes normal functions to be interrupted or altered. In the case of aphasia, the damage occurs in the parts of the brain that are responsible for language. A patient suffering from aphasia will often have a difficult time reading and writing. Understanding and communicating with others can also be affected, and presents some very frustrating circumstances for both the patient and the caregiver. One thing to note is that while communication is affected, the intelligence and coherence of the patient is not necessarily altered. The American Psychological Association phrases it well:

“However, it is important to make a distinction between language and intelligence. Aphasia does not affect the intelligence of the person with the disorder, but they cannot use language to communicate what they know.”

This is a fundamental piece of information that we understand and want the rest of the world to understand as well. We’ve had the opportunity to speak with Lisa Driver, the wife of a former Ernest Health patient, about their experience with aphasia rehabilitation at our facility, and it’s clear that she was well aware of this fact, too:

“He was still my Glen; he was still in there.  I knew he wasn’t gone, but he couldn’t get across the things he wanted to say.  I can’t imagine not being able to get people to understand what you’re trying (to say).”

Lisa was fully aware of the disconnect between Glen’s thoughts and his ability to communicate them. When discussing his frustration in therapy, she explained,

“He hated using the communication board, spelling things out, or using pictures. He wanted just to talk. The pictures were not what he wanted. He could not find the performed sentence or picture that matched what he had in his head.”

We use our interdisciplinary approach to care to provide a comprehensive experience that is efficient and complete. By assigning a team of specialists in different rehabilitation disciplines, we can ensure that a patient’s stay is quick and efficient, but also thoroughly attended to, so that no stones are left unturned.

Because of the frustrating disconnect between intention and actual communication, we know how important it is to be compassionate. The team here recognizes its responsibility to both the emotional and physical care of our patients.

When asked about their experiences over the four-month stay that the Drivers had with us, Lisa replied,

“The environment from day one… the administrative staff, nurses, therapists, cafeteria people, dieticians, housekeeping. They would not just come in and take out trash and mop.  They would visit with us, ask how he was doing, share about things in his life. We were there four months.  We would get excited when we would have a nurse rotate back to us.”

Aphasia is a frustrating and devastating condition that we see on a regular basis, and we feel that it deserves as much awareness as it can get. For more information, resources, and support for aphasia patients and their families, please visit the National Aphasia Association’s website.

If you or someone you know is struggling with aphasia, or if you’re simply exploring your options, please contact us. We can promise expertise, empathy, and compassion that can be heard in the testimonials of those who have worked with us previously.

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