Nathan suffered a stroke in May 2017 due to a workplace accident. He was assisting with the lift of a 64kg aircraft camera, when it slipped and hit him on the right side of his head and neck. At the time, everyone was unaware of the severity of the injury as he did not display any symptoms. He attended a local hospital where he presented with slurred speech and left sided weakness, in particular facial droop. It wasn’t until we were back home and in bed when he suddenly woke me up and I realised he had lost movement on his left side. When he regained consciousness he was unaware of the situation and thought he was fine.
The ambulance took him to Royal Adelaide Hospital where he underwent a CT scan which showed that he had suffered a severe stroke due to a blood clot from the neck trauma. He was left side hemiplegic. He underwent a craniectomy which removed a large portion of his right side skull to relieve pressure on his swelling brain. He was in ICU for a few days before being admitted to the stroke ward and then moved as an inpatient to BIRU at Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre.
Following his discharge from BIRU, he was an outpatient at BIRCH and has recently transitioned to private therapy options. He has undergone multiple surgeries since the stroke, due to a failed cranioplasty due to infection. He recently underwent a second cranioplasty earlier this year.
Nathan has devoted his time and energy into recovering, whilst at the hospital, rehabilitation centre and at home. His focus has never wavered since his injury, with his main goals to learn to how to walk again, gain function back in his dominant arm and hand and return back to work. Nathan has undertaken intensive sessions of physiotherapy and occupational therapy to help achieve his goals. This includes rehabilitation activities such as hydrotherapy, Lokomat, Saeboglove, FES, massager, GRASP box program, ableX, Bioness glove and PABLO.
Nathan has achieved an enormous amount of progress within the past year. He has regained some movement in his leg, progressing from a powered wheelchair, to a manual wheelchair, then a quad stick and now single point stick. He has recently achieved one of his goals of completing a short hike. He has regained some gross motor movement in his shoulder, arm and hand. We were initially told that he would not be likely to walk again or regain any movement in his arm. Despite this, he continues to push himself everyday in rehab to achieve his goals.