According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is a leading cause of adult long-term disability and the third-leading cause of death for people older than 65 years. In recent years, studies show a steep increase in strokes among people in their 30’s and 40’s. The Centers for Disease Control reports between 1990 and 2010 the risk of stroke for individuals 20 to 64 years of age rose 25 percent.
That statistic resonates with James Casarin, of Jessup.
According to an Allied Services news release, the 43-year-old father of two enjoyed an active lifestyle at the time of his stroke in 2013, which left his left side paralyzed. Extensive physical, occupational and speech therapy at Allied Services Rehab Hospital and Outpatient Rehab Center in Scranton enabled Casarin to return to many of the daily activities he enjoyed before his stroke.
Today, Casarin is walking using the Bioness L300 plus, a device which delivers electronic stimulation to the muscles in his left leg, sensing and adapting to changes in walking speed and terrain.
“I thought I’d never walk again, but Allied gave me the ability to walk,” he said in the news release.
Casarin credits the support of his family and friends and the therapists at Allied Services, his “Allied family,” with helping him to overcome many challenges in the wake of the stroke.
“They give you a boost every day and push you to keep going,” he said in the news release. “They make you believe.”
Following the stroke, doctors discovered a hole in Casarin’s heart, one of the few risk factors for stroke beyond an individual’s control. Although he faces ongoing challenges to regain full mobility, Casarin is motivated to help others avoid the same fate by raising awareness of the risk factors and warning signs.
According to the National Stroke Association, 80 percent of strokes can be prevented by managing controllable risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, atrial fibrillation and smoking and tobacco. Warning signs of a stroke include a sudden change in speech or vision and a sudden numbness, weakness or paralysis affecting one side of the body.
For more information on rehabilitation following a stroke visit www.alliedservices.org.