Jay Israel has always been athletic and healthy. The 56-year-old Plainview, NY, resident spent many evenings letting off steam on his stationary bike. In fact, that’s what Jay was doing when his son found him after he collapsed one summer.
“He was crumpled in a heap near the bike,” Jay’s wife, Beth, said. “We called 911, and he was taken to Plainview Hospital, where he was stabilized.”
Jay had suffered a stroke, sustaining damage to several parts of his brain. While things looked grim at first, he was motivated from the beginning to get back on his feet. He soon made enough progress that he could be moved to the Brain Injury Unit at Glen Cove Hospital to start rehabilitation.
When Jay first began his treatment, he had difficulty with walking, self-care, understanding language and expressing himself. He needed intensive therapy so he could gain back some of his independence.
Resident speech therapist Pietrina Fischetti, along with other care team members, including occupational therapist Jennifer Hendrickson, physical therapist Jocelyn Brassil and recreational therapist Laura Epand, worked together closely to make sure that they could help Jay reach those rehab goals.
Although each member of Jay’s team worked with him on specific tasks related to their expertise, they also worked collaboratively to make the most positive impact on his recovery. For instance, in physical therapy, Jay was working a lot on moving around. But if he was having trouble with language and following the physical therapist’s instructions, the team would get together and find the best ways to cope with these difficulties.
Soon, Jay had made gains such as walking unassisted and was able to perform activities of daily living, like dressing and bathing, without assistance. He worked hard to improve his communication skills.
To celebrate his progress, Jay was honored by the Brain Injury Unit care team at Glen Cove Hospital’s Heroes Night, a recognition ceremony held by Northwell Health that highlights providers who go above and beyond the call of duty. The Israel family shared about how far Jay has come since his stay at the hospital—and offered gratitude to everyone who worked with him.