Stroke recovery “begins with a single step” says John Broomfield, PRHC patient

When John Broomfield woke up in a Toronto hospital in January, he was on a ventilator and unable to speak, eat, or move on his own.

He wasn’t sure what had happened, but pieced it all together with the help of his family and friends: he had suffered a stroke at the age of 50. After weeks in Toronto, John arrived at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) on February 14, 2019 – Valentine’s Day. He and his wife Stephanie were overcome with a mix of emotions – happy to be closer to their home in Millbrook, but unsure about what to expect at the regional hospital.

As they arrived on the Integrated Stroke Unit (ISU) at PRHC, John and Stephanie were immediately impressed.

“When you come home to a smaller centre, it’s different. It’s more personal,” says Stephanie. “Everybody knows John by name. They know his story, they know his strengths and the things he needs to work on, and they focus on the whole person.”

“The progress John has seen has been miraculous,” Stephanie adds. “I didn’t know we even had a stroke unit here, but from learning about PRHC’s Stroke Accreditation, to seeing the care here first-hand, we’re so fortunate to have this here in Peterborough.”

Today, John continues to receive targeted, stroke-specific acute and rehabilitation care by an interdisciplinary team, including physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists, as part of the hospital’s stroke program.

“The staff at PRHC helps me every single day – they all work together and are always anticipating my needs,” explains John. “I had no speech when I arrived, I wasn’t able to walk, but the therapy staff here has been amazing. Every journey, including stroke recovery, begins with a single step. At PRHC I even have an audience when I walk – they come into the room and cheer me on.”

“This year, we celebrated the fifth anniversary of PRHC’s Integrated Stroke Unit,” says Erin McHattie, Coordinator of the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge (HKPR) District Stroke Program at PRHC.

“Stories like John’s remind us every day how incredibly important it is to have this unit at PRHC, committed to delivering and supporting excellent stroke care for our patients.”

As part of the Central East Stroke Network, PRHC is the designated District Stroke Centre for the HKPR region. This year, Accreditation Canada awarded PRHC with Stroke Distinction.


For more information:
Kate Gennings
Communications Specialist, Media & Social Media
705-743-2121 x. 2234