Maryland's Health Matters - UMMS - Summer 2014 - (Page 1)
University of Maryland Rehabilitation Network helps
Marcus Thrower recuperate after a serious stroke
ay 31, 2013, started off like any other day for Mar-
Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute. "The brain is like real
cus Thrower: He woke up in his Baltimore home,
estate-location is everything."
grabbed the shower gel and headed upstairs to
Thrower's stroke caused serious damage. And while it made
get ready. But after only a few steps, he dropped
recovery a challenge, it was one that he and teams from the
the bottle. He quickly picked it up ... only to drop it
University of Maryland Rehabilitation Network were willing to
again. "I couldn't ﬁgure out why," says Thrower, 42.
Once in the bathroom, he couldn't keep his balance and
grabbed the shower wall to prevent himself from falling.
THE ROAD TO RECOVERY
That's when he realized he was having a stroke. He shouted
Basal ganglia are like messengers in the middle of the
for help, and his visiting mother called 911. "The next thing
brain, sorting information for the cerebellum and the spinal
I knew, I heard the paramedics telling me to relax and that
cord. When a hemorrhagic stroke occurs here, it can affect
everything was going to be OK," he said.
body movement and sensation, vision, judgment, personality
Emergency medical technicians took Thrower to the
emergency room at University of Maryland St. Joseph Medi-
Thrower's stroke paralyzed his left side from head to foot; he
cal Center in Towson. Because his case was complex he was
couldn't stand or walk without falling. It also caused aphasia, a
transferred to University of Maryland Medical Center, where
communication disorder that impairs a person's ability to talk
he was diagnosed with a right basal ganglia hemorrhage.
and understand words. After a month of specialized treatment
This severe kind of stroke can cause left-sided weakness,
downtown at UMMC, Thrower was transferred to UM Rehab &
and speech and memory impairment.
Ortho Institute, where he continued his recovery as an inpatient.
"It's a pretty nasty diagnosis to have," says Richard Peters,
The institute is the largest inpatient rehabilitation hospi-
MD, assistant professor in the Department of Neurology
tal and provider of rehabilitation services in Maryland. It has
at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and co-
diagnostic-speciﬁc rehabilitation units dedicated to patients
director of the Brain Injury Unit at University of Maryland
who have suffered a stroke, a traumatic brain injury or a
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