Ninety-five-percent of stroke survivors struggle to move one or both of their arms after the attack.
Now a new invention is helping people regain function while rehabbing in their own homes.
Melissa Medalie explains.
"Painting for me is an expression of how I'm feeling at the moment."
Tour Shary Shreffler's art collection, and you would think her days are filled with sunshine and roses.
"Most of my paintings are happy. I have hope."
But since her stroke three years ago this eternal optimist has to work harder to find a silver lining.
"It's torture to live in a body that doesn't cooperate. It really is like a little private prison."
Her entire left side was paralyzed. She re-learned how to walk, but her arm.
"Was fixed in this position."
Shary spent more than a year in physical and occupational therapy. She tried hypnosis, acupuncture and exercise. None of it helped her arm and it all left her in pain.
"I've visited hell. I have. However, I'm emerging from it..
"Emerging, by trying a new rehab routine ... At home.
"I just figure that's my centerpiece for my dinning room table. Isn't it lovely?
"This low-tech contraption is the brain child of researchers Sandy McCombe Waller and Jill Whitall. They've worked for more than a decade to prove people can recover years after stroke.
"It's exciting to find that there is now an option for people who thought they were counted out.
"It's called tailwind. The arms move independently so a weak arm cannot depend on a functioning arm. The repetition re-works pathways in the part of the brain that controls motor skills.
"We encourage both arms, because there's a sort of neuro-functional coupling between the arms."
After two months, Shary can raise her arm.
"I could have never done that. Not even close."
Bringing this artist back to a happier and more hopeful place.
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