Healing Through Music

jim wilmoreAfter a bout of restless leg syndrome, Jim Wilmore fell asleep in his recliner chair (as he often did to avoid disturbing his wife while she slept). At around 3:00 a.m., he awoke to his wife suggesting he go to bed. He noticed a strange feeling in his face and his reply was incoherent. Attributing this to the late hour, they both went back to sleep. However, when he gotup three hours later to use the restroom, he collapsed to the floor.

His wife rushed him to the nearest hospital, where the nurses instantly recognized the symptoms of a stroke. After three days of inpatient care, he was given the option to return home or to check in to the Acute Rehabilitation Center at Arroyo Grande Community Hospital.

Over the previous two years, Jim had issues with his knees that led to the loss of two of his favorite activities: swimming and cycling. Having been a musician for most of his life, he was determined not to let the stroke take his voice or his ability to play guitar. Knowing that he would have a better chance of recovery with the intensive therapy program at the Acute Rehabilitation Center, he decided to take advantage of their one available bed.

Now, one year after his stroke, Jim performs often for patients in the Acute Rehabilitation Center during music therapy – part of the new recreational therapy program. Between songs, Jim humbly shares his story with patients to offer hope and encouragement. “Having been in their position, I think they can relate, and it’s a testament to what they can do. It’s also a reminder that they can get better,” he said. You can enjoy one of Jim's performances by clicking here.

The recreational therapy program was launched in 2018 due largely to generous grant funding from the Moca Foundation. The program provides a productive and enjoyable approach to healing as a complement to the more rigorous therapies patients undergo, and includes music therapy, yoga, art therapy, games, community outings,and more. Recreational therapy helps patients make improvements in the physical, cognitive,emotional, social and leisure areas of their lives.

If you would like to help support patients in the Acute Rehabilitation Center, please click here or contact us.