In the summer of 2021, Ahmed Vaid was hospitalized repeatedly for an infection. He is diabetic, and a sore on his toe became infected, eventually requiring the toe to be amputated.
“The infection was persistent, and he developed severe sepsis,” said his daughter, Fatima Vaid. “He was on a ventilator in the intensive care unit. He was also diagnosed with disseminated intravascular coagulation, which led to a stroke.”
Disseminated intravascular coagulation can occur when someone has severe sepsis. Small blood clots can develop throughout the bloodstream, causing a stroke.
Once he was medically stable following his stroke, Ahmed was transferred to TIRR Memorial Hermann to begin rehabilitation. At that time, he had minimal movement on his right side and was affected by aphasia, a language processing disorder. As an inpatient, he had daily speech, occupational and physical therapy.
His speech language pathologist, Chynah Blankenship, MA, CCC-SLP, CBIS, said, “Upon arrival at TIRR Memorial Hermann, Ahmed was already eating and drinking, so we could fully focus on his primary deficits, which were difficulty comprehending and expressing language. He could follow one-step commands and answer yes/no questions. Any complexity beyond that was difficult for him. We utilized a communication board to work on those deficits and adjusted the board to be more challenging as he improved. Upon discharge he could answer simple, general knowledge questions and he had a solid foundation going into outpatient therapy.”
In physical therapy, he began working on walking. “When he first got to TIRR Memorial Hermann, Ahmed’s endurance was really poor following being stuck in bed for a while after his original amputation and medical complications in acute care, and additionally, he was significantly confused due to his aphasia and apraxia,” said his inpatient physical therapist Kimberly Narro, PT, DPT. “We worked on walking, to get him back to moving despite that confusion, and improving his balance and endurance. I'll always remember the smile on his face when he first successfully got in his daughter's car when we were practicing car transfers, and he knew that he was going to be able to go home.”
About five weeks after arriving at TIRR Memorial Hermann, Ahmed did go home. He started outpatient therapy at Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy, which was closer to his home. Because the hospital is part of the Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Network, Ahmed was able to maintain the continuity of high-quality care he began receiving at TIRR Memorial Hermann.
“Ahmed is an extremely hard worker and always had a great attitude, with an extremely supportive family,” says his outpatient occupational therapist, Randi Farrell, OTR. “Initially he had very limited motion in his right arm and shoulder. Each time he came in, he demonstrated improvements and he progressed from barely being able to move his arm to full functional arm use. After he completed therapy, he continued his progress by participating in the Strength Unlimited program. He is a testimony to how hard work, perseverance and a positive attitude can enhance one's rehab potential.”
He worked with Aru Bijoor, PT III, MSPT, in outpatient physical therapy. She said, “We worked together on floor transfers and getting in the correct position for his namaz (Muslim prayers). During most sessions he spoke very fondly of his daughters and wife, who were a big part of his rehab journey and supported him every step of the way. In outpatient rehab, he went from being a mostly household ambulator, who needed close supervision for safety, to a successful community ambulator who was able to participate in all activities that were important to him. I can still remember how excited he was when he walked at the Kemah Boardwalk with his family, who had come to see him from out of town.”
Today, Ahmed continues to improve. He finds joy in the simple things like spending time with his family, trying a new restaurant, and walking around his neighborhood.