Aquatic Therapy Provides New Life for Severe Stroke Victim

Aquatic Therapy Provides New Life for Severe Stroke Victim

Chuck-poolChuck Ciraolo suffered a stroke four and a half years ago.  His family was told it was so severe and that he should not have survived and would likely be a vegetable the rest of his life.  Remarkably, now the discussion is,  “what kind of vegetable might he have been?”  His daughter claims he would have been a spicy pepper, but Chuck thinks a fruit like a prickly pear might have been more accurate.

Thankfully, Chuck and his family are able to have these discussions. Not only is Chuck discussing vegetables, he’s talking about his recent golf adventure, mowing his lawn and was able to walk his daughter down the aisle. He’s also back to telling jokes.

Q: What did the right eye say to the left eye?

A: Between you and me, something smells.

His inspiring story is one of ambition, a great attitude and a lot of hard work.  He is a regular visitor at Pieters Family Life Center, a part of Heritage Christian Services in Rochester, NY, where he sees physical therapist Barb Cacia for weekly aquatic therapy sessions. His sessions in the HydroWorx 2000 Series pool include walking and balance training as well as some intense shoulder work.  The work he’s done in the pool has not only reduced his shoulder sub-lactation by about 50%, but it has also helped him regain much of his balance to do things like mow the lawn, ride his four-wheeler and bike.  He has increased his endurance by exercising consistently in the water and is now able to volunteer at a local hospital. Most importantly, though, he was able to gain enough strength to walk his daughter down the aisle for her wedding and enjoy the father-daughter dance.

Chuck works hard two times a week in the warm water therapy pool. His sessions include walking at least 1/2 mile on the underwater treadmill, balance activities against the resistance jets and shoulder exercises with flotation devices and weights.

See his full session and hear about his rehab in the videos below:


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