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Posted 5/19/17

Hospital staff becomes family to stroke survivor
Thanks to Jay Heath, Lauderdale Voice, for the article!

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Gloria Crook, seated, enjoys a moment with her “family,” at Lauderdale Community Hospital, from left, Jessica Reaves, Tamara Ford, Tanji Bailey and Trinity Johnston. Ms. Crook said the care she has received over the years from the hospital’s Physical Therapy staff has made them feel like a part of her family.

 

By Jay Heath
Lauderdale Voice

  It does not take long to figure out how Gloria Crook feels about the Physical Therapy Department staff at Lauderdale Community Hospital.

  “This is family,” Ms. Crook says after spending time with some of her “family members,” during a recent visit.

  On Nov. 1, 2009, Ms. Crook had a stroke that began a journey that would add to her family size, while also inspiring the hospital staff to start a stroke support group. That also led to the institution of a Stroke Awareness Health Fair, which will take place Thursday, May 25, from 3:30-6 p.m. at the hospital.

  “The stroke awareness group meetings gave me opportunities to see and talk to survivors and learn from the group,” Ms. Crook said. “I encourage anyone that has had a stroke to come and check us out. We help each other.”

  Ms. Crook said some of the key benefits from taking part in the health fair and being a part of the support group is knowing the symptoms and signs of a stroke. The acronym FAST, Face, Arms, Speech and Time helps inform residents of signs that could alert them of a stroke.

  After going through the rehabilitation after a stroke, Ms. Crook credits family, her doctors, pastors, and especially the staff at the local hospital for getting her through it. She also points to help from the most important source for help.

  “I credit my recovery, first, to my strong faith in Jesus,” Ms. Crook said. “When I first had the stroke and went to Memphis, I cried a lot that first few nights. I didn’t want this stroke, but some friends had had strokes earlier, and they didn’t want them either. So Jesus helped me to start working to get better.”

  Ms. Crook is now an advocate, working to encourage others to do what they can to avoid having a stroke.

  “You have to take charge of your own health. You have to exercise and eat right and take care. And if you have signs of stroke, get help as soon as you can.”

  Hospital staff members credit Ms. Crook and her good friend, Diane Stallings, for helping to inspire the stroke support group. Ms. Crook credits Ms. Stallings for having an impact on her life as well.

  “We encourage each other and talk about our feelings,” Ms. Crook said. “God put us together at that exact time and place.”

  Lauderdale Community Hospital officials encourage residents to take part in the Stroke Awareness Health Fair on May 25. For more information, call the hospital at 221-2479.

 

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