Judith Rambo works on her rehab with Kathy Koob, physical therapist.

When Judith Rambo had a stroke in November 2015, her right side was severely affected.


On Nov. 24, Rambo arrived at Life Care Center of Plainwell, Michigan, for rehabilitation. At the time, she was unable to sit up on her own or speak more than a few words. She was also on a feeding tube.


Therapists at the facility began working with Rambo six days a week to help her regain use of her right side and be able to go back home to her husband, Charles.


The physical therapy team focused on helping Rambo regain strength and mobility. They used a tilt table to help her practice her sitting skills and increase her core strength. She also benefitted from the Omnicycle™, an exercise bicycle that uses foot pedals and hand cranks to exercise both upper- and lower-body muscle groups. As she got stronger, they also worked with her on her walking skills.


The occupational therapy team helped Rambo retrain her fine motor skills for tasks she would need at home, like getting dressed and bathing. The therapists used electrical stimulation to help re-educate her muscles and orthotic splinting on her right hand to help her with her grip and other hand activities.


Meanwhile, the speech therapy team helped Rambo regain more control of her facial muscles and improve her speech and swallowing. Therapists used VitalStim® therapy and thermal tactile stimulation to retrain her swallowing muscles. As she progressed, she started to eat food of specified textures again.


All the hard work paid off. On March 2, 2016, Rambo was able to return home, walking with a walker, able to get dressed on her own, talking and eating normal food again.


“Judy was a huge success, and she left with no diet restrictions!” said Amanda Lemmer, admissions and marketing director. “We were all astounded with her progress. That she was able to sing songs again floored most of us.”


“Therapy has helped a lot,” Rambo said. “I have gained more independence. I was very happy with my care.”