Thursday, March 30th, 2017
On Mar 22, 2014 at 42 years of age, Pao experienced a sudden onset of right-sided weakness and loss of ability to speak intelligibly. A CT scan confirmed he had a brain hemorrhage. At that time, Pao had a wife, 6 children, and a full-time job managing a department. He loved to tinker, build and could fix anything around the house. In a moment, he lost the ability to fulfill any of his prior roles.
After an extensive inpatient rehab stay, in August, an OT in my clinic evaluated him. The evaluation indicated that he had virtually no strength in his right arm except for a slight ability to shrug his shoulder. In addition, he exhibited right shoulder subluxation which was painful. He could follow directions but could not say anything in either of the languages he was fluent in.
Through traditional OT, he made some gains in strength and self-care ability, but these were too slow and unsubstantial for his liking. He could walk with a cane, but continued to have a painful subluxed shoulder and his dominant arm was still not functional. Hid did nothing but watch TV every day. He became more and more depressed and began to lose hope, never smiling in therapy and often tearful.
In December, he was referred to me as I was the only Saebo-certified OT in the clinic. I found him to be a perfect candidate for a SaeboFlex and though he lacked funds, I was able to order him one through Saebo’s free trial program. The day the SaeboFlex arrived, he walked into the clinic with a big smile on his face. He was ready to make some progress! Every day, he did over and above the prescribed home program and arrived to therapy with greater coordination and strength and a readiness to learn more. The pain in his shoulder subsided and his subluxation resolved.
Pao returned to his normal laughing and smiling self and found he no longer needed help with his self-care. After 3 months with the SaeboFlex, he was ready to graduate to the SaeboGlove. Now, he can use his right arm to help accomplish many activities, including cooking his signature Thai Curry dish. He wears his SaeboGlove every day to compensate for a lack of full return in finger and wrist extension. The Saebo devices gave him back not only a functional arm, but hope, purpose and a return to life.