Scott's story

Scott Darcy standing outside his hospital room with the support of a rolling walker.

Scott Darcy was looking forward to his family vacation in West Virginia.

As they were getting ready, he wasn’t feeling right. “I told my family to go out because I did not feel well, and then my vision went,” Scott said. “I attempted to get up...and I fell to the floor.”

His family ran back and immediately called 911. Scott had suffered a stroke.

Emergency services rushed Scott to the hospital where testing confirmed the 44-year-old had a stroke caused by occlusion of the left internal carotid artery – a blockage of the blood vessel. Doctors were able to stabilize him, but Scott faced a number of challenges.

He was unable to stand, walk or speak and had problems with his vision. Scott’s immediate concern was, “what is going to happen to my future?”

Scott was transferred to Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation – Marlton. His physician-led stroke team of rehabilitation nurses, physical, occupational and speech therapists began tailoring treatment to help him on the road to recovery. Scott and his team developed his goals which he explained: “to move my right arm and leg, walk, improve my speech and be more independent so my wife does not have to help me with everything.”

Scott remained extremely motivated throughout his therapy sessions and trusted his Kessler care team. He admitted he “did not like speech activities at first, but it helped me.” In physical therapy, he focused on improving strength, balance and mobility. “I had to learn how to walk again; I’ve never had to think about was like being a kid.”

Scott’s occupational therapists simulated his home environment to teach him to safely perform daily activities such as bathing, dressing and preparing meals, all while using his right arm and hand. He also participated in Kessler’s Peer Mentorship and Stroke Education programs to connect with other stroke survivors and gain insight on his life ahead.

Throughout his rehabilitation, Scott’s family was a constant source of support. “My family was so important through this, I would have not gotten through this without them,” he said. Scott’s wife participated in family training to ensure a smooth transition to home and everyday life.

Scott expressed gratitude to his Kessler care team. “The rehab team tried their hardest to get me better. They did the best they could and that’s the truth. I am grateful,” he said.

Reflecting on his Kessler experience, Scott added, “This is definitely nothing like I have ever experienced before. It was a very positive and helpful environment for me while I was going through this. Obviously, I would not like to do it again, but I gained so much from being here.”

Upon discharge, Scott was at supervision-level walking with a rolling walker and had mastered the majority of his self-care tasks. He was able to go home with his wife and even surprised his two daughters!