New Lenox Woman Recovers from Stroke with Expert Help

Aug. 6, 2017, is a day Kathy Albert won’t ever forget. When she awoke at 8 a.m. and prepared to get out of bed, she felt an unfamiliar sensation…as if a chunk of cement had been placed on her legs. She quickly realized she couldn’t move the left side of her body either.

Kathy Albert stands with a smiling team of rehabilitation therapists.

Photo Caption: New Lenox resident Kathy Albert (center) poses with therapists at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Silver Cross, (left to right) Marleen Comella, physical therapist; Deborah Jacob-Mass, occupational therapist; Kathleen Jones, physical therapist; Jaclyn Garcia, occupational therapist; and Lindsay Wawrzyniak, speech language pathologist; 10 months after suffering a stroke. Kathy spent two weeks recovering in RIC’s inpatient unit at Silver Cross Hospital and attending therapy in RIC’s outpatient clinic at Silver Cross Hospital for over three weeks in 2017.

When Albert tried to get up, she fell to the ground. Her husband Dan helped her up, but when Albert tried to a pick up the phone to dial 911, she couldn’t move her left hand. When she arrived at the Emergency Department at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, neurologist Richard Burgess, M.D., determined she had suffered a stroke.

Once Albert’s condition was stabilized, and she was ready for rehabilitation, she was moved up to a patient room where she recovered for ten days on Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Silver Cross's inpatient unit. The facility has been ranked the #1 rehabilitation hospital in the nation by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991. Through a unique partnership with the Silver Cross Neuroscience Institute, patients like Albert are able to benefit from our comprehensive inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs close to home in New Lenox, Homer Glen and the west side of Joliet.

“Since Kathy had severe arthritis in the left side of her body prior to her neurological event, the stroke made the left side of her body extra weak,” said Jennifer Zolp, RN, and manager of RIC’s inpatient unit at Silver Cross. “Our team of specially trained rehabilitation physicians, therapists and nurses collaborated with Kathy and her neurologist Dr. Burgess to develop a customized plan of care so she could regain her mobility and independence.”

Three weeks of outpatient therapy at the Ability Achievement Center at Silver Cross Hospital helped Albert regain her strength and mobility. She can now steadily walk around her house, use a cane for extra safety while walking outside, and pick up items with her left hand.

“I wouldn’t go anywhere else but Silver Cross because everyone took such good care of me,” said Albert. “I was so scared when I arrived to the Emergency Department. Dr. Burgess was wonderful. He talked to me like I knew him all my life, and he made me feel so comfortable. And my speech, physical and occupational therapists all built up my self-confidence and by doing so, they gave me such great hope for a successful recovery. I am forever grateful to have received such compassionate and expert care so close to my home.”

For more information about inpatient care at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Silver Cross, call (815) 300-5971. To learn the warning signs of stroke, visit or call 1-888-660-HEAL.

Know the Signs and Symptoms of Stroke

May is National Stroke Awareness Month. Every 40 seconds in the United States, a stroke occurs; it’s critical that treatment be started quickly. First and foremost, get to know the most important acronym in stroke: F.A.S.T. The acronym stands for facial drooping, arm weakness, speech difficulties and time to call emergency services.

Care Close to Home

Silver Cross Hospital Pavilion A 1890 Silver Cross Blvd. New Lenox, IL 60451 (815) 300-5400 Inpatient Rehabilitation (815) 300-7110 Outpatient Rehabilitation

Silver Cross Professional Building 1051 Essington Rd., Ste. 260 Joliet, IL 60436 (815) 300-6580 Outpatient Rehabilitation

Silver Cross Health Center 12701 W. 143rd. St., Ste. 220 Homer Glen, IL 60491 (815) 300-6288 Outpatient Rehabilitation

Shirley Ryan AbilityLab at Silver Cross care is available nearby to you offering convenient scheduling hours including evenings. For more information or to schedule an appointment with a physician’s order, contact the Silver Cross location closest to you.

Physicians on Silver Cross Hospital’s Medical Staff have expertise in their areas of practice to meet the needs of patients seeking their care. These physicians are independent practitioners on the Medical Staff and are not the agents or employees of Silver Cross Hospital. They treat patients based upon their independent medical judgment and they bill patients separately for their services.