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Recovering from COVID-19 and stroke


WALLINGFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Time in rehab at Gaylord Specialty Healthcare has 72-year-old Papa of Weston ready to put COVID-19 behind him.

He shares, “Initially the feeling was fatigue and not feeling quite myself, and then I seemed to get a little bit better and then I just spiraled completely out of control.”

Papa spent five days on the respirator at Norwalk Hospital — not just dealing with COVID.
He also had a stroke.

“We don’t know exactly when I had the stroke,” says Papa.

Medical Director at Gaylord Dr. Alyse Sicklick says, “Whether or not it’s because of risk factors that they have already or an increase clotting of blood when they have COVID or a combination of both remains a little bit unclear right now.”

There is still a lot doctors do not know about the link between COVID and stroke says Dr. Sicklick.

“We seem to be having an increase of occurrence of stroke in patients even with less risk factors than we would normally see.”

A fit and healthy Papa before the pandemic paid off during therapy.

Physical therapist Jill Hellstrand says, “From the recovery part of COVID, we are working on muscle strengthening, muscle endurance, physical endurance.”

Recovery of stroke?

“Specifically, ” she adds, “We had to add such things as anything that was related to his coordination as his arm and leg were very uncoordinated compared to his left side of his body, his right side was affected.”

“Writing with my right hand now,” says Papa, “Is like writing with my left hand.”

Papa may not be 100 percent just yet but is thankful for the care he received to get home to loved ones.

He was discharged over the weekend.

Dr. Sicklick says if you suspect you have COVID and other illnesses like stroke — get medical attention immediately. Time is critical.

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