For Stroke Survivor Ken Campbell, Recovery Has Been a Team Effort

August 9, 2022

Ken Campbell doing physical therapy with a doctorWhile there’s no good place to have a stroke, veteran and stroke survivor Ken Campbell considers himself lucky to have been at South Texas Health System Heart when his symptoms first developed. While there, he experienced sudden changes to his vision and was quickly referred to an ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist advised that Campbell had experienced a series of transient ischemic attacks, known as TIAs.

While TIAs are often called mini-strokes, they can serve as a major warning sign of a future stroke.

Unfortunately, that was true in Campbell’s case. While playing the piano one night, Campbell subsequently suffered a major stroke. This one required several days recovery in the Intensive Care Unit at South Texas Health System McAllen, followed by more than two weeks of inpatient rehabilitation.

Comprehensive Stroke Center

South Texas Health System McAllen, a key facility within the South Texas Health System Neurosciences & Stroke Institute, has received a Comprehensive Stroke Center designation from DNV and a Comprehensive (Level I) Stroke Facility designation from the Texas Department of State Health Services. 


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Hard Work and Teamwork Make All the Difference During Recovery

Today, more than two years later, Campbell has made tremendous progress in his recovery thanks to his supportive team, including the outpatient rehabilitation therapists at South Texas Health System McAllen and the South Texas Health System Stroke Survivor Support Group.

“They give me home exercises and I work on my goals,” Campbell says. One of those goals is getting back to playing the piano. “My arm was the most affected and it’s getting better. It’s getting stronger,” he says.

A Positive Outlook and Desire to Help Others

In addition to being pleased with the progress he’s made in his recovery, Campbell is especially thankful for the good relationships he has developed with his rehabilitation team. “I like that all the therapists know each other and work together,” he says. “It’s a real collaborative effort.”

Their positivity also keeps him moving forward. “They are all very, very positive when it comes to my progress,” Campbell says. “It makes a big difference because I am motivated by their positive attitudes to do well.”

The Stroke Survivor Support Group Campbell attends also plays a role in his recovery. “I gain motivation from the meetings,” he says. “I also like the opportunity to give back. I try to help people at all stages of their stroke recovery.”

Campbell offers words of encouragement for others recovering from a stroke: “If you just lay in a recliner and give up you’re not going to improve,” he says. “You’re just setting yourself up for heartache. You have to have a mindset that it’s hard, but it’s worth it and it’s something you have to do.”

“You have to stay positive,” he adds. “You’re going to improve.”