From left to right: Eileen Nudd, occupational therapist; Margret McClellan; and Anya White, physical therapist

In October 2018, Margret McClellan came to Life Care Center of Cleveland, Tennessee, in need of rehabilitation after suffering from a severe stroke that numbed the left side of her body.


“I had just come home from work when I had the stroke,” said McClellan. “I hadn’t felt good all day, but I went to work anyway. That night, I fell out of bed when I had the stroke.”


After being rushed to the hospital and treated for her stroke, McClellan was referred to the facility for rehabilitation. When she arrived, she was in need of total assistance due to her limited mobility and impaired cognition. She required physical, occupational and speech therapy to help restore her ability to perform daily living activities, speak clearly, swallow safely and regain the use of her left leg and arm.


The physical therapy team used the NuStep® recumbent cross trainer, parallel bars, weights and a rolling walker to help McClellan gradually restore her mobility. The team also helped her practice climbing up and down stairs, since she has to climb 15 steps to reach the entrance of her house. Occupational therapy retrained McClellan to perform daily tasks such as getting in and out of bed, getting dressed, cooking and cleaning, while speech therapy worked with her to improve general cognition and learn safe swallowing techniques.


“I used to work with Margret, so I’ve known her for many years,” said Anya White, physical therapist. “She has always been a very caring and self-motivated individual. Even after having this stroke, she’s remained very sweet and motivated to get well so that she can get back to caretaking for others. I think her desire to help others really helped her along the way.”


After just a few months of rehabilitation, McClellan was able to participate in the facility’s Ready … Set … Go! Program, which allows a group of patients to enjoy a fun day out on the town practicing what they’ve learned through therapy. Her group went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast, grocery shopping and cooked a delicious lunch of taco salad and pineapple upside-down cake.


“Everyone here is so friendly,” said McClellan. “They care about everybody here and make sure that they get their therapy done. Whenever I completed an exercise, Eileen would say, ‘That’s awesome!’ to encourage me. That’s one word that made me feel like I was doing better, even when I didn’t think I was doing so good. It motivated me to do better.”


McClellan returned home on Feb. 8, 2019.