Lloyd's story

Lloyd Stallings, Jr. is a 68-year-old resident of Picayune, Mississippi. He retired from Ochsner Medical Center - North Shore, where he was an environmental services supervisor. One day while visiting a friend and playing dominoes, Lloyd stood up and immediately noticed numbness on the right side of his body. He also began experiencing fatigue and weakness. His symptoms worsened, progressing to the point that he was unable to walk at all, so he went to the emergency department at Slidell Memorial Hospital.

An MRI revealed that Lloyd was suffering from spinal cord compression. He believes injuries from a car accident 10 years ago may have led to his current issues. Neurosurgery was consulted, and a few days later he underwent decompression and fusion surgery.

Following surgery, Lloyd experienced weakness in his arms and legs, bladder incontinence and needed assistance with all self-care activities including bathing, feeding, and dressing himself.  He was also unable to walk.   To continue his recovery, Lloyd was transferred to Northshore Rehabilitation Hospital.

Lloyd arrived at Northshore determined to work hard and meet his goals, saying, “I wanted to be able to walk out of the hospital and get my right hand working.”

Physical therapists began by having Lloyd perform various leg exercises to increase his strength. As he grew stronger, they had him practice walking on various surfaces for balance and endurance. He believes this was pivotal in helping him reach his goals. In time, he was walking nearly 300 with the walker and could feel his strength coming back. “I could stand for 15-20 minutes without getting tired,” he said.  As he continued to progress, Lloyd also began climbing stairs.

In occupational therapy, he began learning techniques and using tools to help him perform self-care and daily living activities with greater independence such as learning to use his left hand to eat. “My therapist taught me how to use the hand tool to pick up things off the floor, how to dress myself, use a sock aid and a few other tricks, too.”

Although there isn’t one specific turning point or milestone that stands out in Lloyd’s mind during his time at Northshore, he said “I arrived with determination, and I made some really good progress.”

With the support of his daughter, Angela and his grandson, Lloyd was able to return home less than two weeks after he was admitted. He was looking forward to cooking his own meals at home, spending time with family and friends again and playing with his Jack Russell terrier. He planned to continue his rehabilitation journey with home health therapy services.

Lloyd described his stay at Northshore as excellent, stating “I wish my hospital experiences everywhere were like this one.”