*The names and identifying details in the following blog post have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.*

Two years ago, I got a call over Labor Day weekend from a colleague who was visiting his wife in Atlanta, Georgia. His wife had been in Atlanta to visit a friend, and as he was getting off the airplane he received a call that she had been taken to the hospital. The husband called me to say his wife Mary, age 64, had a stroke and was in the ICU. He was beside himself with worry about whether his wife would survive and what she would be like in the future. Mary had developed total loss of speech and paralysis of her right side.

Imagine not being able to communicate with your spouse after a stroke—far away from family and friends.

As a result of her stroke, and the burden it placed on her husband and family, they needed the help of a health advocate to make sure Mary got the best care and resources necessary during her recovery phase.

Insurance Guidance

One of the first critical problems I faced with this family was Mary’s insurance plan. She had recently retired from her job and was in the process of signing up for a new insurance plan through the Affordable Care Act. Unfortunately, she had not finalized the paperwork prior to traveling to Atlanta. It was enough stress to worry about her recovery, but it was now made worse by discovering she did not have an active insurance policy—potentially causing major financial consequences. Over the course of the next week, her husband and I worked tirelessly to correct this problem. We were eventually able to get her insurance plan activated and relieve them of the financial burden for her hospitalization expenses and future care.  

Recovery Planning

During that same time, Mary was making some small progress and her condition was stabilizing. She remained unable to speak and continued to have significant loss of function to her right side, but she was able to start the process of physical therapy. The family wanted her to return to PA for an intensive acute rehabilitation program and needed help to make that happen. I worked hard to find a suitable acute rehab hospital, addressing the logistical concerns of getting her directly admitted to a new hospital from Atlanta. The flight home was thankfully uneventful, and I met them at the airport to make sure we could transport Mary to rehab.

Preparing for Life after Rehabilitation

Over the next few months, Mary made progress in physical and occupational therapy and was able to walk short distances, help with her own daily care, and was even able to say a few words. Prior to her discharge, I made a visit to her home to assess what she would need to make the home safe and manageable. A local company was hired to make modifications to her home. Additionally, I helped the family select non-medical caregivers to provide companionship and support during the day when her husband returned to work.

As her advocate, I wore many hats to help with her care management to make sure she and her husband were supported at the time of stroke and throughout the course of a difficult recovery. Severino Health Advisors was there to provide comprehensive care management to take away the stress of this new medical condition.


Call Severino Health Advisors today to see how we can help your family through every stage of an unexpected illness!