Through therapy, man fights to regain his footing

Jose Luis LaTorre, Outpatient Rehabiliation Center patient

Jose's Outpatient Story From the Amazon in South America to native tribes in Central America, Jose Luis LaTorre has had the opportunity to interact with many interesting cultures. He has seen beautiful landscapes that most people only see through pictures. As a former tour guide, Jose Luis loved taking travelers to various countries and educating them on the wonders of the world. However, the dream he was living was cut short by a rare, devastating disease.

“About 25 years ago, I suffered from Guillain-Barrè syndrome, a condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves and causes paralysis,” says Jose Luis. “My doctors weren’t able to pinpoint how exactly I contracted it, but because insects are often carriers of this disease, I think I may have been bitten during one of my trips.”

He refused to let his illness get the better of him and worked diligently with physical therapists to regain muscle movement and the ability to walk. After years of physical therapy, Jose Luis overcame his condition and ended up returning to the tourism industry, but this time, to work in an office setting.

Unfortunately, they say the hardest battles are given to the strongest fighters, and sadly, this fighter was given one more trying challenge.

“Earlier this year, I suffered a stroke,” shares Jose Luis. “Part of my recovery included occupational, physical and speech therapy at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center at Coral Gables Hospital.”

Just as he fought to get his life back after contracting Guillain-Barrè syndrome, Jose Luis worked tirelessly to recover from his stroke. During his therapy sessions, he worked on differentiating textures, grabbing items, writing, and practicing pronunciations and tongue twisters. He also focused on improving his flexibility, strength and coordination through several exercises and movements.

“The therapists were able to help me progress very quickly,” Jose Luis says.

Due to his own perseverance and the dedication of the team at the Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, he exceeded everyone’s expectations. His therapists often found themselves running after him!

Jose Luis now follows recommended at-home exercises and pushes himself harder with each passing day. Although he can’t yet walk as easily as he used to, he doesn’t plan on letting the obstacles he’s faced hold him back from continuing to explore the world. 

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