Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Sister Newspapers' News

November 8, 2012

After 10 years in a wheelchair, man, 88, walks again

By Matt Koesters

CNHI News Service

NEW ALBANY, Ind. —For 10 years, Jesse Beyl, 88, couldn’t walk, and no one knew why.

“Nobody’s ever been able to pin it down,” said Beyl, a World War II veteran, “but I got hurt when I was in the service, so that’s where I think it came from. That’s my opinion, no one else’s.”

On May 28, Jesse Beyl suffered a stroke, and the paralysis stole from him the use of his right arm. But just a few weeks later, Beyl regained control over the arm.

Shockingly, that was not all. He found the strength to walk again.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in 40 years,” said Dr. John Shaw, medical director at Southern Indiana Rehab Hospital.

When Beyl was first admitted to the rehab hospital, he was placed in the sub-acute unit in the hopes of restoring use of his arm. For most stroke patients, recovering from paralysis can take weeks or even months. Beyl had regained control of his arm after a week.

“Just weakness was left,” said Vicki Pelkey, who served as Beyl’s in-patient physical therapist. “That was pretty miraculous after one week.”

But not as miraculous as what happened next. Because of Beyl’s rapid recovery from the stroke, the hospital transferred him to the acute rehab unit, where they worked on getting the New Albany man back on his feet.

“They got me to stand for a minute to start with. I couldn’t do it,” Beyl recalled. “Then they had me standing for five minutes. They just kept working with me, and then after that, they put me in bars to hold on to, and [Pelkey], she kicked this foot forward with her foot, and this foot followed.”

If anything, the stroke should have worsened Beyl’s condition, Shaw said.

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