Regaining Independence after a Stroke

“Something was wrong with my left hand. I couldn’t make it move.”

Anton poses for a photo.

Anton Bosnic

In October 2018, Anton Bosnic of Grassie was reading the newspaper at home when he realized that he could not turn the page. After he stood up from his chair, Anton fell over because his left leg was so weak.

“My wife heard me fall and she called 9-1-1,” recalls Anton. “I was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital by ambulance, where they determined I’d suffered a stroke. My blood clot was treated with medication and I was lucky that I didn’t require surgery.”

Fear for the future

After spending five weeks recovering at Hamilton General Hospital, Anton was transferred to the Restorative Care Unit of St. Peter’s Hospital.

“I was grateful that my speech was unaffected by the stroke, but I couldn’t use my left arm and leg,” he says. “It was frustrating because I’d always been a healthy, active and independent person. I was worried that I would need a wheelchair for the rest of my life.”

Restoring his body

Therapists helped Anton regain some of his independence by strengthening the left side of his body and helping him regain his sense of balance. With hard work and determination, he was soon able to stand up from his wheelchair without assistance and use the washroom on his own.

“Feeling a sense of independence again was wonderful.”

“The physiotherapists were very kind and knowledgeable,” explains Anton. “They helped me use the walking bars and the stairs in the gym, which helped to loosen my left leg and make it stronger every day.”

Occupational therapists worked with Anton to help him regain the use of his left hand so he could do everyday tasks, such as opening cartons of milk and making sandwiches. Slowly but surely, his strength was returning and he could see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Independence

By January 2019, Anton was able to walk for short distances with a cane.

“Feeling a sense of independence again was wonderful.”

Anton was discharged at the end of January and he returned to his farm in Grassie.

“I was very happy when I could go home and spend time with my wife of 52 years. At the same time, I was sad to leave all of the amazing staff at St. Peter’s Hospital who made such a difference in my life. They helped me regain my independence and I will never forget them.”