In March 2022, Yen Lang was at home when he suddenly collapsed. His wife, Van, rushed to his aid. After calling for emergency services, she began performing CPR on her husband. In a matter of moments, the emergency team arrived, and they took Yen to Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital, which was close to their home.
“After he was there for an hour, he was taken by helicopter to Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center,” said Van. “It was there the physicians told me Yen had a burst aneurysm in his brain that caused a stroke.”
Yen was in the ICU at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center for three weeks. As his condition improved, he was moved out of ICU and into a regular patient room. He remained in that room for one more week before his physicians determined he was medically stable enough to begin rehabilitation.
“We chose to go to Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy because it was close to our home,” said Van. “When we arrived there, Yen could not talk, sit up or move his right side.”
“It was a pleasure seeing Yen progress during his stay at Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy,” said P. Jacob Joseph, MD, associate professor in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth Houston and an affiliated attending physician with the brain injury program at TIRR Memorial Hermann and Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy. “When he first arrived, he was fairly limited from a cognitive and communication standpoint in addition to physical limitations. Working with our multidisciplinary team and with some adjustments in his medication regimen he was able to make gradual improvements. His inpatient rehabilitation was not without its challenges, as we did have some medical issues come up during his stay. After addressing those complications, he was able to maximize his participation. His family was very helpful from the onset, being hands-on and learning the best way to assist him enough to promote his recovery, but not too much as to impede his independence. It was great to see him continue his journey with our outpatient therapy team and make tremendous progress over this last year.”
The Langs own a restaurant in the Katy area, and both Yen and Van were looking forward to Yen returning to their small business—as well as getting back to their everyday lives with their children.
“Yen didn’t have any muscular activation on his right side,” said his inpatient physical therapy clinician, Jasmine Melian, PTA. “He was feeling down initially during his admission. I would say to him, ‘You want to go back to work and be with your family, right?’ I would explain to him how neuro recovery works through neuro plasticity. Soon, Yen was feeling more motivated, and our focus became standing tolerance and powerchair mobility independence. Upon discharge, he went home with an exercise program that included sit-to-stand application and increased use of his right arm so he could perform tasks with increased independence and safety.”
During inpatient occupational therapy, Yen’s family was encouraged to participate in his sessions.
“The first thing I did was to initiate family training, encouraging his mom and his wife to allow increased time and provide cues but allow him to do more,” said his inpatient occupational therapist Grace Frias, MOT/ OTR, C-NDT. “He gave me a funny look but had no choice to do more on his own. A variety of treatments were included to facilitate right arm awareness, correct shoulder-hand position and ultimately function! His motivation and family support made his progress phenomenal. We became a team! No matter how challenging the task, he would give it his all. Recently, he came back to proudly show his progress including a firm handshake from the hand that had had no movement when I met him.”
After about two months, Yen was discharged from inpatient care and transitioned to outpatient physical, occupational and speech therapy. He was able to maintain continuity of care by going to Memorial Hermann Rehabilitation Hospital-Katy’s outpatient therapy.
“As of March 2023, Yen’s right arm continues to demonstrate increasing strength, fine motor control and hand dexterity,” said his outpatient occupational therapist, Rachele Minor, OT. “This is fabulous progress, since that is about one year after his initial stroke. Yen’s motivation and determination are very admirable, and I am very fortunate to witness his continued success in outpatient occupational therapy."
Yen was able to return to work at his family’s restaurant. He continues to work hard in therapy, so that he can return to cooking in the restaurant’s kitchen. But currently he is able to provide input on recipes and other aspects of the restaurant’s operations. He is also driving, walking and enjoying spending time with his family.
“All of the staff has been caring, kind, compassionate and detail-oriented,” said Van. “We are very happy with the care that Yen has received!”
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