At just 57 years old, James has suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke. He was on life support for 12 days, finally coming round on February 14; what his family calls a “Valentine’s Day miracle.” Unable to speak, walk, or take care of his personal needs, James was referred to Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center in Scranton.VIEW JIMMY'S SPOTLIGHT
James Boyd of Scranton is a familiar, friendly face at Allied Services, having worked there years ago. He recently returned, but this time as a patient. On February 2, 2015, James just finished snow blowing after yet another storm; one of the many during the relentless winter of 2015. He went inside to rest after developing a headache. Two weeks later, he woke up in the ICU at Geisinger Community Medical Center in Scranton, unaware of what had happened.
At just 57 years old, James has suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke. He was on life support for 12 days, finally coming round on February 14; what his family calls a “Valentine’s Day miracle.” Unable to speak, walk, or take care of his personal needs, James was referred to Allied Services Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center in Scranton.
On admission to Allied Services, James’ doctors weren’t sure what to expect in terms of recovery. Only a month later, James was talking, walking, and starting to take care of his personal needs. His family was amazed with his progress. They couldn’t thank his group of “miracle workers” enough.
“I truly believe that this would not be the case if Jimmy had been treated anywhere else,” said his sister, Marilyn. While he was at Allied’s Skilled Nursing and Rehab Center, James’ Occupational Therapists also worked to treat his carpal tunnel symptoms. All of his doctors, nurses, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists and aides at Allied have his full gratitude. “I can’t say enough about my crew up there. I call them my A team!” said James.
Today, James is still making great strides in his recovery. He has returned home and now received outpatient therapy at Allied. He is currently working on his short term memory with his speech therapist, Danielle. James’ latest goal is to regain his vision, which was damaged by the stroke, so that he can drive again.
Joan Newman who resides in Waverly, PA, was one of the first presidents of Allied Services VISTAS (Volunteers in Services to Allied Services), and remains an active volunteer, regularly providing pet therapy to residents at Allied Services’ Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.VIEW JOAN'S SPOTLIGHT
A longtime champion of people with disabilities, Jack Newman, who died in 1997, was one of Allied Services’ founders. Thanks in part to his vision and efforts, Allied Services exists today providing health and human services to people in need. Joan, his wife, who resides in Waverly, PA, was one of the first presidents of Allied Services VISTAS (Volunteers in Services to Allied Services), and remains an active volunteer, regularly providing pet therapy to residents at Allied Services’ Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center.
“It is an organization that has been a central part of our family over the decades”, explains Jack and Joan’s daughter, Nancy Newman. “The compassion my father felt toward his work on behalf of Allied Services was a driving and motivating force in his life. In his later years when his health was declining, Allied provided a way for my father to stay involved in the community he loved. Today, my mother carries on this commitment through her pet therapy visits each week.”
“It is fulfilling to have our name associated with an organziation of such high caliber”, states Joan. “Everywhere I go, I always hear Allied praised to the stars.”
“Most dear to my heart,” notes Joan, “is that Allied provides a wonderful home for my daughter, Gail (who resides in one of Allied’s community homes for those with mental retardation and participates in Allied vocational programs). While she and I enjoy spending time together at my home, Gail is always happy to return to her own home at Allied, surrounded by her many friends and the staff who treat her as family.”
Life hasn’t been the same for Solomon Plains Memorial Junior High School Principal John Woloski since February 4th. It’s the day he suffered a stroke on the job. It started as a late morning dull headache that was later accompanied by other symptoms. “I looked at my computer and I saw double. I looked at some of the items on my desk and I saw double. And then I started to try to think where I was.”VIEW JOHN'S SPOTLIGHT
“I miss every morning greeting all my students through the door.”
Life hasn’t been the same for Solomon Plains Memorial Junior High School Principal John Woloski since February 4th. It’s the day he suffered a stroke on the job. It started as a late morning dull headache that was later accompanied by other symptoms. “I looked at my computer and I saw double. I looked at some of the items on my desk and I saw double. And then I started to try to think where I was.”
John, who is diabetic and hypertensive, wasn’t sure what was happening. During a text message conversation with his wife Cheryl, she urged him to see the school nurse. “I thought maybe the sugar level was not what it was supposed to be and also he does have high blood pressure and I thought maybe the pressure went up but I had no idea it would have been a stroke,” she said. Valuable time passed from the onset of symptoms to when John finally saw nurse Nicole Tomek. “He was complaining. He said my head hurt so bad and he sat down in my office and I started talking to him and his speech was garbled. He was very confused. He started with a little bit of a droop in the face.” When asked what she thought was happening, Ms. Tomek replied “Stroke. Absolutely.”
An ambulance took John to Wilkes-Barre General Hospital leaving the Solomon Plains Memorial community traumatized. “This bubbly, loud, vivacious personality to the building has been silenced was like, it was, it took the whole staff by complete, complete shock. We were not, not prepared and there was a… there was a sense of despair on our part like my God, what happened,” said Solomon Plains Memorial Jr. High School Activities Director Brian Fischer.
The Woloskis say a hospital Cat scan could not detect the stroke-inducing clot. The limited window of opportunity passed to receive the powerful clot-dissolving drug tPA. After nearly 24-hours at Wilkes-Barre General, John was transferred to Penn State Hershey Medical Center for several days where he received a recommendation from his son, Jason. “My son, who is a doctor there, said to me Dad, there is a great facility John Heinz. They do fantastic work. We’re going to send you back there.”
John was transferred to John Heinz Rehabilitation Hospital in Wilkes-Barre Township. Faced with the prospect of six hours of in-patient therapy per day, John knew it was gut-check time. “You can lay in this bed and feel sorry for yourself or you could get up tomorrow and do the best you can and hope that you will get better.”
John is home now after completing a nine week hospital stay but his rehabilitation to regain more of his speech and mobility is far from finished. As a stroke survivor, he has a message for anyone who may face a similar fate. “As bad as you feel don’t feel sorry for yourself. Just do what the trained experts are trying to do to help you and you will succeed. Don’t ever, ever, ever give up.” John had a few early symptoms indicating his stroke including severe headache, blurred or double vision and confusion. Many others experience the classic symptoms that help make up the acronym FAST. F = facial droop. A = arm weakness. S = speech difficulty. T means it is time to call 911. Remember, time equals brain.
If you visit Webster Towers in Scranton, you are sure to hear the name Judy Farrell. Judy is a resident of 27 years, and knows everyone and everybody. She has a heart-warming sense of humor and an uplifting personality. For the past 45 years, Judy has experienced a range of health problems; from broken bones to needing a pacemaker.VIEW JUDY'S SPOTLIGHT
If you visit Webster Towers in Scranton, you are sure to hear the name Judy Farrell. Judy is a resident of 27 years, and knows everyone and everybody. She has a heart-warming sense of humor and an uplifting personality. For the past 45 years, Judy has experienced a range of health problems; from broken bones to needing a pacemaker.
Judy has a long standing relationship with Allied Services. Needing various surgeries throughout the years, she has been an inpatient and outpatient at Allied Rehab Hospital in Scranton, as well as receiving help from Allied Services Home Health.
“I only go to Allied. It’s getting to the point now where they’ll just say, do you want us to call Allied?” laughs Judy.
After mysteriously passing out for 9 years, Judy finally received a pacemaker that has solved the problem. After the surgery to insert the pacemaker, she had some serious complications and spent days in the hospital. When she came home, she was unable to move or take care of her daily needs. Allied Services Home Health helped Judy regain her independence, something she is adamant about at 75 years old.
Judy spoke about how caring and determined her Home Health nurses and therapists were. “They do not discharge you unless you prove yourself. I have never gone out of Allied not better,” said Judy. She emphasized how they always made sure she was alright before leaving. Judy laughed, telling stories about her recovery with them. She considers them her second family, her Allied family. Judy says she is “blessed” to have had Denise, Amy, Mary, and Maria there for her. “I just have the utmost respect for Allied.”
Judy’s latest challenge has been her shoulder, which she previously injured in a fall. She has been receiving outpatient therapy at the Luger Rehab Center in Scranton. She knows her therapist, Dawn, will have her as good as new in no time. In addition to her shoulder, Judy has also recently started receiving massage therapy for the Lymphedema in her arm. She says thanks to her therapist, Kim, she is already seeing improvement.
Judy is happy to be healthy again and able to get back to the things she loves doing, like visiting with her friends in the community room. Her latest goal is to get back to being out and about, taking walks to and from the store. She feels thankful to have made the progress she has. “I wouldn’t be doing a lot of things if it weren’t for Allied.”
“We don’t think she is going to make it.” That’s how bad she was,” said Renee’s mother, Angie Celmer.
Retired from a 30-year career with the New York City Police Department, John had a brief rehab stay in a Manhattan hospital, but soon transferred to Allied Rehab, hoping for a quicker, fuller recovery in our accredited stroke rehab program. Today, he calls it "the best decision I ever made."
Since we started coming to Allied, the change in Damon has been miraculous. The people put their heart and soul into what they do.
After her knee replacement surgery, Dr. Gwen Galasso, Pittston, chose Heinz Rehab for physical therapy.
A rare disease of the brain struck Cassie Davies, Clarks Summit, in the prime of life. Today, Cassie credits therapists at both Heinz Rehab and Allied Rehab for her amazing recovery.
"Mentally it was really hard, even though so many people said, “you’re going to be back, you’re going to be back.” I kept thinking I wasn’t going to be able to. But now that I am here, it is all definitely worth it."