CLARKS SUMMIT, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Pittston man is making a remarkable recovery just five months after suffering a severe stroke. Besides rigorous therapies, he credits a transitional layer of care with putting him on the fast track to getting better.
Making a sandwich is something so simple yet it represents a significant stride in the life of Wayne Kopacz. “I can grasp things now I couldn’t do.” The 65-year-old long time carpenter from Pittston is rebounding after losing so much when he was struck down in December by a brain bleed called a hemorrhagic stroke. “The stroke, like, came out of the blue. Just, boom, there it was.”
Undergoing five hours of brain surgery, Wayne remained hospitalized in intensive care for a month before being transferred to Allied Rehab Hospital in Scranton to continue his recovery. “They’re wonderful. They just keep encouraging you.”
But his recovery needed a jump start that only being home with his wife Julie could provide. “This is what I want to get back to. Where I was here,” said Wayne. His wife added, “He had to be home. He had to be home. He was getting depressed. You know, he just missed his family. He missed being home.”
Wayne got his wish. After five weeks at Allied Rehab Hospital, he was able to return home with the help of Allied’s Home Health Care service. Home Health provided skilled professionals multiple times a week tending to his medical and physical needs all while he remained at home. Wayne’s daughter, Lori Ryder, is an Allied Services Medical Social Worker. She said, “They can take care of the peg tube and the tracheostomy site. And then the physical therapist to help you navigate your own house and do it safely and the occupational therapist… same thing, help you in and out of just your own bathroom which is something that you’d never thing that you would need.”
Even speech therapy was provided in the comfort of Wayne’s home during this two week transitional period. Now five months since surviving his stroke, this husband, father and grandfather continues with therapy — grateful for a new lease on life and in his home.