Deidra Wilson

Deidra Wilson’s life revolves around her family and her faith. Deidra and her husband, Ray, have three children and 13 grandchildren who live in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Iowa. At one point, the family had a singing group called “The Wilson’s.” One year, they traveled around and performed 82 concerts in one year, and that was just on weekends!

Three years ago, doctors found a glioblastoma in Deidra’s brain. After receiving treatment with chemo and radiation, Deidra was cancer-free! Recently, Deidra ended up at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after suffering a severe stroke. Deidra’s doctors referred her to Southern Kentucky Rehabilitation Hospital for intensive inpatient rehabilitation.

As a result of the stroke, Deidra faced many challenges and a long road to recovery. She had left hemiplegia (paralysis), dysphagia, dysarthria and anarthria. When she arrived at SKY Rehab, Deidra required a lot of assistance. “It was very frustrating having to ask for help when I was so independent before my stroke. I just wanted to be able to do things on my own, like going to the bathroom, but I couldn’t do it without a lot of assistance.”

A very positive person, Deidra drew on the encouragement of her team at SKY Rehab and the support of her family to do her best each day. That hard work, dedication, and support enabled Deidra to make significant gains during her stay.

A beautiful example of Deidra’s progress is found in one of her favorite songs to sing with her grandchildren. The song is called “Open, Shut Them.” The lyrics go, “Open, shut them, open, shut them. Give a little clap, clap, clap. Open shut them, open shut them. Put them in your lap, lap, lap.” You are supposed to open and shut your hands and follow the lyrics, which Deidra could not do. Today, she can move without any issues and is able to make all of the motions that go along with the song…and much more! In just a few short weeks, Deidra regained the use of her left side, resumed a regular diet, and could speak without having slurred speech!

Deidra and her family extended a special “thank you” to Leah, Brandy, Noel, and all the therapy staff for their support and ongoing care. They are also thankful for Jennifer Adams, a clinical liaison with SKY Rehab, who helped make the transition from Vanderbilt to SKY possible.

“I could not have made it without my therapists and team here to push me through. With their support and the use of MindMaze, I am able to go home and live my life again!”

When Deidra was asked what she planned to do upon her return home, she replied with, “Go to get Mexican food on the way home to celebrate Cinco de Mayo!”