Local Woman Regains Dignity and Independence at KRMC Acute Rehabilitation
By Kingman Regional Medical Center Staff
Wendy Dunlap had been a caregiver for her late husband while he was suffering from dementia. She is a mother, and she had worked in healthcare and as a police officer. She had spent her life in various roles caring for others. She had not prepared to be the one in need of care.
In September 2014 Dunlap visited Kingman Regional Medical Center’s emergency room with left arm numbness. She quickly learned that her right carotid artery was 98% blocked.
Dunlap was sent to Phoenix, where she underwent surgery to clear the blockage. She then experienced a second stroke. She was left with left-side paralysis, speech articulation issues, problems swallowing, and no independence.
When Dunlap thought of the long recovery that lay ahead of her, she insisted on returning to Kingman for the process.
When Dunlap began rehabilitation, she came in on a gurney. She could not bear weight or even keep herself upright. Due to some setbacks and health interventions, Dunlap spent a total of seven weeks in the ARU; she says being near her family in that time was invaluable.
In fact, Dunlap attributes much of her recovery success to that support system. Having family and friends close by meant she could look forward to sharing her progress with loved ones. It meant that her great-grandson could remind her to do her exercises. Her daughter visited for lunch every day, and her partner, David Cidila also encouraged her daily. “Depression is a risk after stroke,” says Dunlap, and she could not imagine the aftermath of her stroke without her family.