Ralph Poland

I suffered two strokes during open heart surgery that left me a living vegetable. It wasn’t clear if I would ever walk again. But I remained determined. At the time of my discharge from the hospital, I could only walk up to 100 feet with the use of a walker. Upon discharge from New England Rehab, the case manager told me about Goodwill NeuroRehab Services in Lewiston, Maine. At that time, my future still seemed very bleak. But even then, there was a lot in life I still wanted to achieve.

I had in home therapy once a week until I started going to Goodwill NeuroRehab Services. Over the next two years, I began my physical, occupational and speech therapies. A few months after I had started going to Goodwill, my aunt told me she saw improvement for the first time. I learned how to go from my disability controlling my life to me taking control of my disability.

At first, Goodwill staff were skeptical I would ever walk without the use of assistive devices. But with their expertise and my determination, I was able to eventually walk on my own.

Eighteen months into my therapy, I was able to go back to living on my own again. Right before I was discharged from NeuroRehab Services, I returned to driving again.

Now my life is pretty much back on track. I work part time at a local Wal-Mart as a floor assistant. My job involves answering the phones, making tire quotes, cutting keys, stocking shelves and assisting customers.

I also volunteer at a local hospital helping with painting and repairs, as well as assisting in their Rehabilitation Unit. I share my story with the patients, offering them inspiration for their recovery.

My life could never have been as productive as it is now without the help of Goodwill NeuroRehab Services. And for that I am truly grateful.