HealthSouth Tinton Falls Former Stroke Patient has a Drive for Independence


Doug Watkins StoryHealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Tinton Falls former patient Doug Watkins had just bought himself a beautiful black Corvette convertible in early September 2014. A Corvette aficionado, this was a dream fulfilled. Doug, a retired U.S. Marine, enjoyed an active lifestyle, playing golf, exercising on the treadmill, working on his car and doing yard work. He was looking forward to enjoying his shiny, new convertible out on the road until everything changed the morning of his 72nd birthday in March.

Doug’s wife of 49 years Fran was shocked to discover that he had collapsed on the bathroom floor only a few minutes earlier and was unresponsive. Comprehensive testing at the local hospital concluded that Doug had suffered a severe large stroke, as well as two prior strokes involving both his brain stem and right middle cerebral artery. Doug was totally paralyzed, couldn’t speak, dependent on a feeding tube and was completely dependent for all his self-care needs.

After 12 days in the hospital, Doug chose to continue his recovery at HealthSouth Tinton Falls, an inpatient physical rehabilitation hospital focused on helping patients regain independence through a comprehensive, individualized therapy plan.

After seven weeks of inpatient acute rehabilitation, Doug walked unassisted out of HealthSouth Tinton Falls and is now managing most of his self-care needs with assistance from his wife at home. He is a participant in HealthSouth Tinton Falls’ Stroke Support Group attending meetings when he’s not in a therapy session. Doug continues to work hard in outpatient therapy to improve his balance, memory and correct a residual loss of his visual field.

While he is still a passenger, Doug’s long-term goal is being able to drive his convertible again one day.

Source: HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Tinton Falls

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Douglas Powell

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Douglas Powell

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