Former RCP patient George Newman is now helping other patients at the West End Co-Op.
Early one morning in 2007, George Newman struggled to get out of bed. He was having difficulty speaking and was off-balance – the 49-year-old was having a stroke. His wife called 911 and he was rushed to the Emergency Room as he drifted in and out of consciousness.
As soon as he had stabilized and regained his senses, Newman began stroke protocol therapy to identify damaged areas of the brain and attempt to “re-route” lost connections. He spent time as an inpatient at Roger C. Peace Rehabilitation Hospital (RCP) and eventually moved to the outpatient facility and West End Co-op.
At the co-op, the former trucking manager learned he had a real talent for jewelry making and helping new patients. The only lasting effect of Newman’s stroke was damage to a language processing area, which would limit his ability to return to his old job.
Newman enjoyed working at the co-op so much that he stayed on as a volunteer when his treatment ended. Now he’s a West End Co-op employee.
“It’s a blessing to be able to learn new things and have a job I love,” said Newman. “I always enjoyed little tinkering projects and working with my hands, and now that’s part of my job. I also get to help patients and families as they cope with brain injury and show them that life isn’t over. Brain injury forces you to change, but it doesn’t mean you can’t live life and be happy.”
If you'd like more information on supporting patients and families, contact Philanthropy & Partnership Director of Neurology & Post-Acute Care Dianne Dillon at (864) 797-7733 or firstname.lastname@example.org.