May 25, 2017

Posted by in General, Rehabiltiation | 0 Comments

Patient Story: I Remembered Nothing

Patient-Story-MerlinI recently met with a patient who had found success with speech therapy after a stroke. He was a thoroughly enjoyable gentleman who is very grateful for the gains he’s made thanks to help from staff in Therapy Services at Pella Regional. I hope you enjoy hearing his story. I know I did.


In 2013, Merlin Kooistra of Pella had a health event that left him in the hospital for 17 days, while a few of those days he was in a coma. He considers himself to be very lucky to be alive, but it’s been a tough journey toward his new normal.

“My speech was so terrible at first. I remembered nothing, not my wife’s name or my kids’ names, nothing,” said Merlin. When Merlin returned home he started outpatient occupational therapy and speech therapy at Pella Regional right away.

“Tara really helped with my speech. I love her dearly,” said Merlin. “She worked with me on comprehension and recall by having me repeat words after her and sent puzzles home with me to practice. It was so hard at first.”

Merlin still struggles with comprehension at times. He describes it as losing his words and finds it embarrassing but has found that things are better when he is well rested.

“The most successful part of speech therapy was learning how to remember things again. Tara had a lot of tips and tricks for me to use,” shared Merlin. “Her caring is what helped me the most. She has been wonderful to me and so encouraging.”

Learn more about Speech Therapy at Pella Regional.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *