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Published on September 29, 2014

'Little Angels' Help Parkinson's Patient Get Moving Again

Eddie TaylorEddie Taylor and his wife, Sandra, have been married for 45 years. He was an active man who exercised regularly, ran a lawn service and enjoyed playing with his great-grandson.

A few years ago, Sandra noticed that Eddie’s arms weren’t swinging when he walked. Eddie began to shake, but he thought he was just cold. When he was referred to a neurologist, the cause of these changes was identified right away as Parkinson’s disease. Eddie became depressed. He worried about it, couldn’t sleep and lost 31 pounds. He couldn’t move, walk or bathe, and he could barely talk. He even experienced thoughts of suicide.

Eddie also began to develop back pain and was receiving treatment by physical therapist Lawrie Beardsley at Cone Health Outpatient Rehab. Lawrie knew about our Neurorehabilitation Center’s therapy specialists for Parkinson’s disease and suggested they could help him. Soon after that, Eddie met his “three little angels,” Amy Marriott, Angela Freeman and Carl Schinke. Within two weeks, Eddie said they got him moving, and he got his hope back.

Eddie worked twice a week with his “little angels” in physical, occupational and speech therapy. It built his confidence. He learned exercises that helped him walk better and return to his everyday activities. Now that he has graduated from his therapies, he exercises four days a week with Sandra right alongside him. On Monday and Thursday, he walks a mile. On Tuesday and Friday, he goes to the YMCA and uses the glider, the bike and does 200 crunches. Every day he devotes 90 minutes to the various exercises his “little angels” taught him.

Eddie no longer likes to stay home. “I can walk anywhere,” he says. If Sandra is going out, he doesn’t want to be left behind. Back in the days when Eddie was depressed, he worried that Sandra would leave him. Instead, they are thinking about renewing their vows in October, when they reach their 46th anniversary.

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