Posted By: Bayley Bischof 

Recovering from a stroke takes a lot of patience, motivation and strength.

It takes a team of therapists, and for Gary Theiler, a Lincoln man who is deaf, it takes an interpreter.

"If an interpreter is here, they can walk with me,” Theiler said.

Walk with him as he recovers from the stroke that partially paralyzed his left side.

"It was March 23,” Theiler said. “I woke up in the morning and noticed some things were funny with my eyes, and I didn't know what was going on until I went to the restroom and I fell over."

He said sent a jumbled text to his son, a firefighter here in Lincoln, hoping he'd notice something was wrong."

"Jesse showed up with an ambulance and told me, dad, you've had a stroke,” Theiler said.

He was hospitalized, and then transferred to Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital’s Lincoln campus for therapy.

His recovery has been remarkable.

"When he showed up it was taking two to three people to walk, we're at a point now where we're using a cane and being balanced a little bit,” Kelly Billings, physical therapist said.

While Theiler has good communication skills and can read lips, his therapist said he wouldn't have made this progress without the interpreter.

"I have to have her, he wouldn't get very far without her,” Billings said. “He needs to know in sessions and that cueing is so important to motor–learning. If he doesn't have it when he's walking or relearning his process would slow down."

Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals provide either video or in person interpreters to any deaf patient that needs it at no additional cost.

"We need to keep making sure that we advocate for interpreters in the hospitals,” Theiler said. “Especially in rehab because not all deaf people are like me, do not have good English skills, do not have good understanding and need an interpreter all the time."

September is deaf awareness month, to learn more click here: