Farmer makes strides after stroke
A month after suffering a stroke, Yamhill County farmer on path to independence thanks to new groundbreaking device - Legacy Good Samaritan first in Pacific Northwest to offer ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System to patients
Just five weeks ago, 74-year-old Gary LaRue was hard at work operating a busy excavation company and working on his 56-acre Black Angus beef ranch and shitake mushroom farm in Yamhill County. That all changed on Palm Sunday 2016, when this hardworking farmer, devoted husband, father and grandfather suffered a stroke leaving him in a wheelchair and unable to verbally communicate.
Upon arriving an Legacy Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon
at Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center
two weeks after the stroke, Gary’s therapists immediately began doing exercises on a new groundbreaking device called the ZeroG Gait and Balance Training System – a robotic training system that supports spinal cord and brain injury patients to safely and independently practice walking, balancing, sitting-to-standing, getting off the floor and walking up stairs.
His family has been with him every step of the way witnessing his first steps, supporting and documenting his recovery.
“My dad is not your average 74-year-old. The week before he had his stroke, he was out on the farm operating heavy machinery,” said Gary’s son Eric LaRue who also owns and operates an excavation company with his father. “Seeing him take those first steps and continue to make that kind of progress in just three weeks is nothing short of amazing.”
“Watching Gary being able to practice walking using the ZeroG has given us a lot of hope that he will be able to make a full recovery and get back to being the mischievous, hardworking Gary we all know and love,” added Miriam LaRue, Gary’s wife of 51 years.
Legacy Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon is the first and only facility in the Pacific Northwest to offer patients the ZeroG. It can be used for a variety of diagnoses such as stroke, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, amputation, Multiple Sclerosis and other orthopedic and neurological injuries.
“ZeroG gives our patients the safety and confidence to practice functional, real-world balance and walking activities,” said Valerie Fensler, physical therapist at Legacy Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon. “It is highly effective because it is able to remove barriers between us and patient. Being able to offer the ZeroG to patients is so exciting because it helps our patients to return to their daily lives equipped with the skills and confidence they need to thrive after a life-changing injury, diagnosis or illness.”
ZeroG assists therapists in providing early and intense rehabilitation that effectively prevent falls and helps patients practice walking and balancing along with many other activities in the rehabilitation process. In addition, the ZeroG offers Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon patients the following benefits:
• Motivates patients
• Monitors and tracks functional progress
• Begins intensive therapy earlier and safely
• Makes tasks easier to perform with dynamic body-weight support
• Allows patients to walk overground safely without the fear of falling
• Helps patients learn how to anticipate a loss of balance
• Teaches real-world activities in a safe environment
• Decreases risk of injury to patients & therapists
Click here to watch the KATU story.
Click here to read the Portland Business Journal story.