David Watson

David Watson has bounced back from a broken hip and a stroke faster than anyone anticipated.


Associates at Payson Care Center in Payson, Arizona, where he has been completing his rehabilitation, are calling him their miracle patient.


Watson, a retired construction worker and pastor, fell and broke his hip. He was scheduled for surgery, and during that time he had a stroke, which affected his left side.


When Watson arrived at Payson Care Center on Feb. 18, 2016, he was dependent on the staff for all of his functional mobility. He couldn’t sit on the side of his bed, let alone walk, and the stroke had affected his mouth and throat in addition to his limbs, which made it difficult for him to speak or swallow.


Therapists began working with Watson five days a week to help him regain his independence.


Physical therapists focused on strengthening exercises and range-of-motion activities to get Watson moving again, and it took less time than they expected to get him up and walking and working on his gait again.


Meanwhile, occupational therapists worked with Watson to redevelop his fine motor skills for daily tasks like grooming, bathing and feeding himself. Electrical stimulation helped with this process in addressing the weakness in his left arm and hand.


Watson worked equally hard with the speech therapists as they walked him through swallowing and speech exercises. He completed his speech therapy on April 1 and is now able to talk and swallow without difficulty.


“He has had an excellent recovery from weakness in his fine motor skills,” said Denise Miller, occupational therapist.


“I am surprised at how well and quickly he is recovering,” said Deb Bassett, licensed practical nurse. “Every day he is doing better.”


Watson is now able to walk 300-500 feet with stand-by assistance and can take care of himself as long as he has someone there to remind him of safety precautions.


“I can walk now,” said Watson. “Therapy strengthened me and helped my speech and swallowing.”


Watson continued his therapy as long as he could so he could be at his highest level of function to return home to his wife, who is undergoing cancer treatment. He returned home in mid-April.