web analytics
October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Long Road of Stroke Recovery


Stroke-053112-Lokomat

Strokes in older patients are often caused by a blood clot which blocks an artery in the brain which has been narrowed by arteriosclerosis, a condition which is usually associated with high cholesterol and poor eating habits. Strokes can also be caused by an aneurysm, which is a weak part of a blood vessel which expands, putting pressure on the surrounding brain tissue. If the aneurysm bursts, the hemorrhaging inside the brain can quickly become life-threatening.

Yossie Federman is a young man from a religious Boro Park family who suffered a stroke on January 18, 2005. That day his life changed. He has no memory of the stroke itself. It left him in a coma for the next three weeks. He finally awoke blind and unable to speak.

Doctors believe that Yossie’s stroke was caused by an abnormal connection of the veins and arteries called an arteriovenous malformation, or AVM. About 300,000 Americans have AVM, but only about 10% of them ever suffer noticeable symptoms from it. The only advance warning that Yossie received from his AVM was a series of severe headaches over of six months. However, the AVM did not show up on a CAT scan of his brain, so Yossie’s doctor diagnosed his headaches as simple migraines.

The stroke damaged areas on the left side of Yossie’s bran that control the movements of his right arm and leg, which is a common effect of strokes. In these cases, one of the goals of therapy is to stimulate equivalent areas on the other, undamaged side of the brain to take over the lost functions.

Restoring Independence

Yossie says that the worst part of his stroke was the initial blindness and forced separation from his family. He was determined to return home and resume his normal life as quickly as possible. After checking himself out of rehab to go home for Purim against doctor’s recommendations, Yossie refused to go back, and eventually developed his own rehab program to supplement his regular therapy.

Yossie has shared his rehab experiences on his web page, www.strokerr.com. He says that he has tried just about every treatment and therapy available, but his recovery has been uneven. He has regained enough vision to be able to safely drive a car, and he can now communicate his thoughts clearly, although more slowly than before. However, he has still not regained the full use of his right arm and leg, and is still unable to walk very far unassisted. To enhance his mobility, Yossie came up with the idea of modifying an adult tricycle which he could push with his good left leg alone. The idea worked. The tricycle has increased Yossie’s independence and encouraged him to be more active and to get up and around.

Yossie has also resumed his Torah learning, on a limited schedule. He goes to a local Bais Medrash each day for 30-minute sessions studying Gemorah and Chumash to “give my brain a workout.” But he tires more easily now, and needs more sleep each night than he did before his stroke.

Yossie has not been able to resume to his previous vocation as a keyboard pianist, but he does have a marketable skill that he is using to help support his family. He runs a small business called AjMyer Engravers & Signs (www.ajmyer.com) which creates signs in English or Hebrew for commercial or institutional use. With the tireless support of his wife, Esther and their six children, and much help and encouragement from the Boro Park community, Yossie has been able to resume a normal life.

Fighting Back

Assemblyman Cymbrowitz recalls that his first reaction to his stroke was shock and disbelief, but like Yossie, he refused to give in to despair. His fierce determination and intensive therapy helped him to recover his physical functionality quickly and to resume his normal activities as an elected official, but seven years after his stroke, he is still fighting the stroke’s lingering effects.

As someone in public life who is photographed often, Cymbrowitz admits that he is sensitive to the fact that the stroke has slightly changed the appearance of the left side of his face when he smiles. Because he is left-handed, the stroke initially made his handwriting illegible. After diligent practice each day with a pad and pencil, it is now legible once again, but his signature is different than it was before.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Long Road of Stroke Recovery”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a government meeting.
Proposed Conversion Bill, Change in Local Rabbinate Power Nixed by Netanyahu
Latest Sections Stories

Sadly, there are mothers who, due to severe depression are unable or unwilling to prepare nourishing food for their children.

Michal had never been away from home. And now, she was going so far away, for so long – an entire year!

Though if you do have a schach mat, you’ll realize that it cannot actually support the weight of the water.

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Sukkot is an eternal time of joy, and if we are worthy, of plenty.

Two of our brothers, Jonathan Pollard and Alan Gross, sit in the pit of captivity. We have a mandate to see that they are freed.

Chabad of South Broward has 15 Chabad Houses in ten cities.

Victor Center works in partnership with healthcare professionals, clergy, and the community to sponsor education programs and college campus out reach.

So just in case you’re stuck in the house this Chol HaMoed – because there’s a new baby or because someone has a cold – not because of anything worse, here are six ideas for family fun at home.

We are told that someone who says that God’s mercy extends to a bird’s nest should be silenced.

Our harps have 22 strings. This gives musicians a wide musical range and yet stays within Biblical parameters.

More Articles from Yaakov Kornreich
Vaccinations-Oct-2013

American society as a whole has accepted the view of the medical establishment that childhood vaccinations are both safe and necessary to protect the health of our children. But there are parents who accept the views disseminated over the Internet and social media by a small but vocal minority of doctors and researchers who claim that current vaccines, and the way in which they are administered, present significant risks to the health of very young children.

Between 1997 and 2008, the number of children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) increased almost fourfold, according to the National Health Interview survey. The 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health indicated that 1.1 percent of all children born in this country are on the autism spectrum.

By 2015, 46 million Americans will be over the age of 65. As members of the baby boomer generation pass the traditional retirement age, our standards for aging are steadily changing.

One of today’s fastest growing new dietary trends is the proliferation of foods labeled “gluten free” on the shelves of supermarkets across the country.

What does an elected official in his fifties have in common with a young Chassidic father, a young mother who works as a freelance copy editor, and a 21-month old infant? All four individuals, from very different backgrounds and walks of life, suffered a stroke which robbed them of some of their previous abilities, and prompted an individualized recovery process which is likely to last for the rest of their lives.

We have all been raised in a culture which we are taught to believe in the “miracles of modern medicine.”

For many years, autism was considered to be a rare, mysterious and severely disabling condition. But in recent years, due at least in part to a broadening of its medical definition, the incidence of the diagnosis of autism and related disorders has risen to about 1 in every 150 babies born in this country.

What was the biggest single donation to Tzedaka (charity) or greatest act of Chesed (personal kindness) in your life? How much of a difference did it really make? Did it change a life? Did it save a life? How do you know for sure?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/the-long-road-of-stroke-recovery/2012/05/31/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: