Coronavirus and CNS Preventative/Protective Measures
CONTACT US CALL 800.922.4994
Stroke Survivor Regains Confidence and Independence

Stroke Survivor Regains Confidence and Independence

Stroke Survivor Regains Confidence and Independence

As an elementary school principal in Bakersfield, Ken Durbin has been a passionate advocate for youth education and has been heavily involved in the local community over the past 30 years. But on July 2, 2020, Ken suffered a massive hemorrhagic stroke amidst the COVID pandemic, resulting in severe physical and cognitive deficits, including loss of speech, difficulties with vision, and balance issues.

After spending a few weeks at a Bakersfield rehabilitation hospital, Ken could return home to his wife and their six children. On August 24, 2020, Ken began an outpatient treatment program at the Centre for Neuro Skills’ Bakersfield location, where a tailored neurorehabilitation plan was created to address Ken’s unique needs and goals.

“When I got here for the first time, I loved all the people. Even though I couldn’t talk or walk, they have helped me do a lot more than I used to be able to,” says Ken.

CNS Patient, Ken DurbinWhen Ken first arrived at CNS, he was in a wheelchair. Through rigorous physical and occupational therapy sessions, Ken slowly transitioned to a walker and now can walk without assistance. After relearning how to walk again, Ken registered for a 5k run with his daughter. After months of training and exercise, Ken successfully ran a 5k in December 2022.

“Seeing all the pride and joy in his face after was so touching. I’m proud of him and his progress,” said his wife, Amy.

Along with daily speech therapy, Ken was the first patient at CNS Bakersfield to receive a Lingraphica. This speech-generating device has helped Ken to improve his communication, word retrieval, and speech abilities. Despite his initial fears of ordering at a restaurant or speaking to the public, Ken has regained his confidence and independence in the real world.

Today, Ken is eager to share his stroke recovery journey with the world and advocate for more stroke education and resources. He is honored to be the featured stroke survivor of the 2023 Kern County American Heart Association Heart Walk, sharing his story to the crowd alongside Amy and David Harrington, CNS President and Chief Operating Officer.

Additionally, Ken is working with his therapists and clinical staff to launch the first survivor-led support group at the CNS Bakersfield clinic.

“There’s so many people that don’t have resources or know how to get help,” said Ken. “I really want to help other people like myself.”