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In August 2021, Farook Ohab had run out of hope. Nine months earlier, he’d suffered a stroke that paralyzed the left side of his body. And before that, he contracted COVID-19 and lost 150 pounds. After his stroke, he was so weak he couldn’t even use the bathroom on his own.
“I had to have my brother carry me to the commode,” Ohab said. “I couldn’t see a future.”
That all changed when he arrived at Neurorehabilitation & Robotics at the IU Health Neuroscience Center. Ohab began a range of therapies—from using a robotic arm to strengthen his muscles and range of motion to intensive water therapy and stretching.
The power of positivity
But it was the positive feedback from IU Health therapists that helped Ohab make the most of his time in the lab. “They’re so positive here,” he said. “That’s what you need to hear after you’ve had a stroke. You don’t want to hear about what you can’t do. They make me want to work harder, and that’s helped me get better faster.”
The Neurorehabilitation and Robotics lab was established in part thanks to IU Health Foundation donors, including a generous gift from the Schahet family. The lab’s physical, occupational and speech therapists work closely with specialists at the IU Health Neuroscience Center to offer patients exceptional care using advanced technologies unavailable anywhere else in the state.
Continuing the Schahet legacy
Greg Schahet, a member of IU Health Foundation’s Philanthropy Council for the Adult Academic Health Center in Indianapolis, has continued his parents and family’s philanthropic legacy with a generous gift to the lab in 2021. In early 2022, Schahet was able to connect with Ohab to see firsthand the power of his philanthropy.
“It’s so heartwarming to know that so many wonderful things are happening at the hospital,” Schahet said to Ohab. “I suspect that if I was at the hospital every day, I would hear a story like this every day.”
Ohab expressed his gratitude to Schahet and to all of the therapists who have helped him on his journey. Five months after he was wheeled into the lab, Ohab is now standing up on his own, walking and regaining the use of his arms.
Best of all, he’s no longer defined by what he’s lost, but by what the future holds. “I can’t wait to be able to play with my nieces and nephews again,” he said.