Gary’s advice to anyone facing rehabilitation? “Get up and get moving. It’s the only way to get better!”

Gary Sampson, 70, considers himself a “professional volunteer.” Retired from multiple careers as a police officer, part of the National Red Cross, and a Victim Witness Director at the District Attorney’s office, Gary now spends his time giving back. He is active as part of the Loveland Fair Board and serves as Zone Chair of the Lions Club (and a past president). He is the Leading Knight for the Elks Lodge and drives for the Senior Alternatives in Transportation program.

When Gary isn’t giving of his time to the community, he’s spending it with his family. Gary and his wife, Sherlyn have two children and five grandchildren. They also have two dogs and a bird. Gary takes pride in taking care of his home and his yard. So when Gary suffered a stroke, his whole world turned upside-down.

It began with a headache that lasted all day. Gary also found himself struggling with word finding. When he arrived at the acute care hospital, doctors diagnosed Gary with a pontine hemorrhagic stroke. As a result of the stroke, Gary suffered left hemiparesis (weakness on the left side of the body) and acute respiratory failure. Due to respiratory failure, Gary required the support of a ventilator to breathe.

Sheryln chose Northern Colorado Long Term Acute Hospital for the next stage of Gary’s recovery upon the recommendation of his ICU doctor. Sheryln and Gary are glad they chose NCLTAH.

“Dr. Pearson was great with answering questions and was very personable,” Gary recalled. “The respiratory therapists were always checking on me and making sure I was comfortable. The registered nurses were always friendly and helpful, and the PCTs were always so helpful and positive.”

Weaned from the ventilator, Gary transferred to Northern Colorado Rehabilitation Hospital. He chose NCRH because of their competency in the care of stroke patients. It was also an easy transition, as the two hospitals share a building.

Upon completion of his rehabilitation stay, Gary discharged home with Sherlyn. He looks forward to resuming his volunteer activities and enjoying his family. Gary’s advice to anyone going through a similar situation is to “get up and get moving. It’s the only way to get better!”

Gary’s next goal? Running a quarter mile!