Occupational therapist explains what Dan Gilbert's rehab might look like

There are so many tools to help stroke patients like Dan Gilbert recover, but rehabilitation takes time.

"There's no magic wand to be able to just poof and fix somebody - it's a process," said Denise Nitta.

Nitta, a senior occupational therapist at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, details what therapy might look like Gilbert, who suffered a stroke on May 26. His family announced he was released from Beaumont Hospital on Wednesday and is now at an unspecified in-patient rehabilitation center.


Quicken Loans Ceo Jay Farner released a statement saying Gilbert is looking forward to beginning an intensive rehabilitation program and is eager to continue the progress he has made over the last several weeks.

"In-patient is much more intense - you live there, so you're getting therapy essentially all day long," Nitta said.

She said each patient is different but many stroke patients may have difficulties with walking, talking, as well as bathing, dressing, grooming, and feeding.

"We all are trying to get them to be able to go and walk to the bathroom and get dressed, to be able to take a shower, so we're very integrated. Everybody kind of co-treats and works together to get that person back to the highest level of function that they could possibly be," she said.

So patients are exposed to physical, occupational and speech therapy, constantly working to re-train the brain.

"The harder you hit that brain early on, trying to make that connection or re-route around the damaged area, is how we do the recovery," she said. "It takes hundreds of thousands of repetitions to make a new pathway to get through to re-train that brain."

There's no way to know how long that rehabilitation will take - for stroke patients that can be uncertain and scary, but with therapy, there is progress there can be recovery.

"They don't know what's going to happen, they don't know what the expectation is, how much they're going to recover and our part is just to prove to them what they can do," Nitta said. "We're all about the patient and cheerleading them and encouraging them. ... There's little increments of just getting better slowly, slowly, slowly."

Farner's statement in full: