Mother of two, wife, skier, television producer, casting coordinator, squash player and model. These are all words that have used to define Roxana Marquez. At HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Miami; however, we use different words to describe her: survivor, hero, inspiration, motivator and exceptional.
While on vacation in Miami from Venezuela this past August, 35-year-old Roxana suddenly developed a severe headache and lost complete control of the right side of her body. She was taken to the hospital where it was found that she had an arteriovenous malformation with an intracranial hemorrhage (a form of stroke) in the left side of her brain. Her doctors determined that the hemorrhage was inoperable and that the best course of treatment would be intensive rehabilitation.
Roxana was transferred to HealthSouth just four days after the onset of her stroke. Upon her arrival, she was found to have little to no movement or control of the right side of her body. She required almost total assistance with all basic tasks such as eating, dressing, bathing and walking. After her evaluation by the physical therapists, along with her rehabilitation physician, it was determined that she was an excellent candidate to regain normal function. Roxana’s attitude matched that of her rehabilitation team as she was determined to regain her life.
Utilizing physical and occupational therapy strategies that challenge stroke patients to use their weakened side – as well as advanced technology such as Bioness functional electrical stimulation for the hands and leg-Roxana made an incredible recovery. She has regained almost complete control of her right arm and leg and is now able to complete the majority of her daily tasks with little or no help. Roxana is now able to walk with and without a walker, feed, dress and groom herself, and is even able to write in cursive and utilize a laptop mouse to complete her daily tasks.
Example and success. These are two more words that must be added to the list regarding Roxana. She is truly an example of how hard work, determination and the appropriate strategies can lead to an incredible success story. Roxana’s recovery is far from over, but what this young woman has overcome in a little over a month is absolutely remarkable. If you ever have the pleasure of meeting her, we’re sure that you’d be able to come up with another 100 words to describe her. Here’s to you, Roxana!