Update on George Haines’ Recovery

(Here's the latest update on Coach George Haines' recovery from a stroke five weeks ago.)

Hello Haines Cheerleaders,

It's the Weekend Update!! Please no emails to Dad's address… use mine, please… When he can handle his P.C. I will let you know. Thanks.

Happy to report that Dad is still progressing. He has completed his first week in a full rehab. facility. He is kept very busy and is working hard.

Also happy to tell you that 2 of his therapists have a swimming connection. One of them is Rick Laing whose father is a swimming coach in New Zealand and a woman, whose name escapes me, is a swimmer from Germany. Each
recognized Dad and in their own way has given him added attention and care.


His day starts with breakfast in bed but after that there is little rest. After breakfast, in comes the occupational therapist to work on dressing and routine morning care: brushing teeth, shaving, combing hair and so on.

Then he is off to physical therapy where he works on muscle control, strength, and walking skills. He does much of this work on an elevated mat. Mom is often encouraged to work with him on the mat exercises…

Then he goes to the occupational therapy room to work on improving the skills in his right arm. In one exercise he places his arm on a wheeled support and then must move his arm around a table to hit various targets. This is a new drill and since he cannot use his left arm to assist, we are now seeing that he has control of his right shoulder…could there be more to come???

Then he is back to P.T. to work on balancing skills. He has very good trunk control…strong abs too… must be that 6 pack he is working on!! These skills are learned, at this point, in a sitting position, can't have him tipping over! Once he has mastered the skills in the sitting position, he works on taking these skills to the standing position.

Time for lunch and a rest.. about 1-1.5 hours. Then it is back to P.T. for gait traing. Here they work on form: head up, shoulders back, foot placement, weight transfer.. then on to speech therapy and then back to
P.T. to work on moving from the wheelchair to a shower bench and back, then wheelchair to commode and back, and then wheelchair to a conventional bed and back.

Whew!! That's his general routine. Speech is so hard for him at this point but every day there is a small gain. Mostly, he tries to talk, nothing comes out, and then he gives you a hanging head shake.. Makes him so mad.

We do have hope, though, because we have seen improvement. We have just had to learn that speech is the last to come back. He does sing Happy Birthday.
For those Stanford swimmers who used to sing to Dad:
"We love you, George, oh yes we do…", I guess I will have to introduce that into his singing speech routine again…(thanks to those who wrote to remind of us
this little workout ditty!!)

We have a target date for Dad to come home… we will see. It looks like it may be around September 7. The family goes to an all day training session on the 5th… They expect him to be able to walk with some sort of assist (walker, cane?) when he leaves. That would be wonderful. He would still get the necessary therapies; they will be done in the home environment for some period of time.

Keep those positive thoughts and prayers going… they are working.. we can see the improvement.

Thank you all!
Until next time,

Kerry Haines Derr

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