SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Stroke is the leading cause of death in the United States with more than 140,000 American
s suffering a stroke each year. Bob Wilhelm is one of those statistics. His life drastically changed two years ago when he suffered a stroke and waited 11 hours before paramedics arrived to help him.
He started rehab soon after his stroke where he had to learn to walk and talk again and he still had difficulty with both. After insurance stopped paying for his physical therapist, Wilhelm turned to the machines at the YMCA Broadmoor in Shreveport to continue his progress.
Sheri Childs has been training Wilhelm since he arrived at the YMCA nearly a year ago.
"He rides the bike and he does all the machines that he can do and he does them quite well," said Childs, who also teaches yoga at the gym.
Since adding bike and weight training to his routine, Wilhelm has seen his stamina and his power increase. He can even walk without his cane at times.
Wilhelm works out as long as his body will let him, something he never did before his stroke. He still feels the weight of his battles. He has no feeling in his right hand and has limited movement in his right leg. But these restrictions will not hold him back. His time in the gym has improved not only his strength of body but also his strength of mind.
"He's made friends with everyone in here,"
According to recent research, nearly 40 percent of stroke victims are like Wilhelm. They suffer moderate to severe impairments that will require special care. Most fitness centers and gyms across the ArkLaTex offer programs to help people who have suffered a stroke.