Rutherford Hospital begins new stroke support group

Published 3:15 pm Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Rutherford Hospital Inc. (RHI) has begun a new stroke support group that will meet monthly to provide encouragement, fellowship and information for stroke survivors or loved ones of those who have suffered from a stroke. Stroke is the third leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in America.

Led by Mary Campagna-Gibson, M.D., the support group provides an informative and nurturing environment to learn about stroke symptoms and living with the effects of stroke. At its first meeting on May 18, Thomas LaBreche, Ph.D., of Woodridge Psychological Associates, was the guest presenter to a group of over 30 attendees.

His presentation included information about the emotional impact of stroke on family dynamics. The support group will meet on the third Tuesday of each month at 3:30 p.m. The next meeting is scheduled for June 15 in the Norris Biggs Conference Room at RHI. To learn more, call 828-286-5198.

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Dr. Campagna-Gibson explained, So much can be learned about strokes. The brain can be affected in many ways by stroke, but there is hope for recovery from stroke and many of our community members are living proof of this. There is a need to reduce the impact of stroke and learn more since 80 percent of all strokes are preventable. We can extend care and support for one another through this group and we look forward to welcoming new members.

Betty McDaniel, RN, of the RHI Education Department, added, Our hope for the Support Group is to educate about what causes strokes, about stroke prevention and how to best deal with the affects of a stroke. There will be opportunities to meet and interact with others who have had similar experiences, and to learn from each other ways to improve life after a stroke. One point is to recognize that stroke affects each person differently and, regardless of how they are affected, they are survivors not victims of stroke.