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Lawton residents discovering benefits of occupational therapy

Losing physical abilities  whether quickly, as June Young did due to a stroke, or over time, as David Towe did due to a decades-old injury and severe arthritis  is devastating.

There are many outcomes depending on the illness or severity of the injury suffered, but occupational therapy may be able to help with the new normal and get back some or all of what was lost.

Coming back from a stoke

"I had a stroke on March 5, 2017," said Young during a phone interview. "I was affected on my right side and had weakness in my leg and arm."

A right-handed person, she had no movement in her right arm, and her confidence in taking care of herself was low.

After a 30-day stint in a hospital in Oklahoma City, she was sent for both occupational therapy and physical therapy at Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation at Comanche County Memorial Hospital where she worked with the therapists including Occupational Therapist Tammy Palmer. Occupational therapy showed her how to build back her physical skills and taught her how to adapt to handle any functions that she couldn't perform with her weak right arm, while physical therapy helped build her strength and balance.

She went home on April 1, 2017, and her leg and arm continues to improve.

"They got me confident enough to shower, get dressed and feel comfortable enough at home so I could be on my own, since my husband had to go back to work," she said, explaining that she continues to use all the techniques they showed her at Jim Thorpe. "If I did not continue it, I would not be as far as I am now or successful as I am."

The Lawton Constitution

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