Gerald and Sonia Peters pose for a photo and smile.
Gerald and Sonia Peters found hope and rehabilitation after Gerald suffered a stroke. (For Spectrum Health Beat)

A stroke is something we hope a loved one never has to experience.

Unfortunately for Gerald Peters, it was something he dealt with firsthand.

On Oct. 13, Gerald didn’t feel right. His wife, Sonia, noticed his face couldn’t make that wonderful smile she loves seeing.

That evening, they decided to take him to the Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital emergency department.

There, staff determined Gerald suffered a stroke. They worked quickly to monitor and admit him to the hospital.

Gerald had lost the use of his arms and wasn’t able to stand. Both he and Sonia knew it would be a long road to recovery.

They now had a choice to make: Which rehabilitation center?

They made the choice to keep him at Spectrum Health Reed City Hospital and admit him down the hall to the Rehab and Nursing Center.

“I had faith and trust in the care Gerald would receive there,” Sonia said. “The staff at the hospital were so caring and attentive to my husband’s needs, I knew we would receive the same level of care.”

From that decision began Gerald’s two-month journey to recovery.

“If it wasn’t for this hospital and its staff, I may not be here today,” Gerald said.

Over the course of eight weeks and thanks to the staff at the Rehab and Nursing Center, Gerald can now stand and walk for a few minutes and move his arms again. The close proximity to home allowed Sonia to still care for an elderly relative while being at her husband’s bedside nearly every day.

The couple’s experience has been exceptional. Sonia said they “feel better being close to home” and that helped with Gerald’s recovery.

Gerald was discharged just in time for the holiday season. They will continue rehabilitation at home with Spectrum Health at Home, with the hope of being able to complete his rehabilitation at Reed City Hospital’s Outpatient Rehabilitation office.