Man Works Relentlessly to Regain Independence After Stroke
Ramon Blount returns to his active lifestyle with support from his loved ones.
Ramon Blount, 47, was studying for his preaching assignment at the dining room table on January 13, 2017. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then, when Ramon tried to say something to his family, he couldn’t get the words out.
“He was trying to express himself, but then he just paused,” says Amy Blount, Ramon’s wife of 25 years. “He stood up, lost his balance and fell backwards.”
Ramon was rushed to Gwinnett Medical Center, where his family learned he was having a stroke due to hypertension. Although Ramon’s vital organs were not seriously affected, a CT scan showed swelling on the left side of the brain.
They were shocked. Ramon had always seemed healthy. He stayed active as an electrician and builder. He was also involved in the community, serving as a pastor in his church.
“This was his first health scare in our 25 years of marriage,” Amy says. “It was devastating to see him like that.”
After being in a coma for nearly three weeks, Ramon arrived at Shepherd Center in February 2017. As an inpatient in the Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program, he participated in physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Speech therapy was especially helpful because Ramon had aphasia, an impairment of language affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia does not impact intelligence, but it does affect the person’s ability to convey their thoughts. Ramon received outpatient services at Shepherd Pathways.
“He could practice day-to-day tasks at Shepherd Pathways,” Amy says. “He did practical activities like driving in a simulator and virtual sports. The hands-on training was fantastic.”
It has been three years since Ramon experienced a stroke. Through this journey, Ramon, Amy and their children have worked together relentlessly to regain Ramon’s independence.
“It’s not the burden that breaks you down,” Amy says, “it’s the way you carry it.”
Today, Ramon is building again. He stays active by running and lifting weights and hopes to go back into the ministry soon. He is even working on his first book, and his speech has improved tremendously.
“I’m doing the best for myself,” Ramon says. “Everything for me right now is about making sure I’m as healthy as possible so I can be there for the ones I love.”
Written by Damjana Alverson
Shepherd Center, located in Atlanta, Georgia, is a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, spine and chronic pain, and other neuromuscular conditions. Founded in 1975, Shepherd Center is ranked by U.S. News & World Report among the top 10 rehabilitation hospitals in the nation. In its more than four decades, Shepherd Center has grown from a six-bed rehabilitation unit to a world-renowned, 152-bed hospital that treats more than 740 inpatients, nearly 280 day program patients and more than 7,100 outpatients each year in more than 46,000 visits.