After Major Stroke, Pastor Return to Pulpit

Pastor Bill Elder, struck down by a stroke as he prepared for his Christmas Eve sermon, he wasn’t sure he’d ever return to his pulpit at Mountaintop Community Church in Birmingham. The stroke caused severe damage to Elder’s normal ways of thinking and ability to perform even the simplest of activities. A normal life seemed far, far away. Only through weeks of therapy at UAB’s Spain Rehabilitation Center, was he able to learn again how to think, move, and enjoy the possibilities of the future. “We don’t give up on people, ever — even though we get some of the most complicated patients you’ll ever see,” said one caregiver. So emotions came easily for everyone when, months later, Elder finally took the stage again at Mountaintop Community Church in Birmingham,. “Without the staff here, I couldn’t have made it that far,” he says. The staff was affected by the pastor as well. As one caregiver says, “He made me want to be a better nurse.” See how Spain Rehabilitation Center’s staff of physical, occupational, and speech therapists and rehabilitation nursing staff and physicians worked as a team to patiently prepare this remarkable man for the return to his pulpit.

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