What is a stroke?

A stroke can happen without provocation or warning. Nerve cells in the brain that control our bodily movements and how we receive and interpret sensations need a continuous and ample supply of oxygen and other nutrients to function properly. During a stroke, important nerve cells are deprived of this nutrient-rich blood and, if it continues long enough, these cells die. When nerve cells no longer function properly, neither do the parts of the body they operate. Stroke survivors may experience difficulty speaking, can have problems walking and may lose some of their memory.

Types of stroke

A stroke, or Cerebral Vascular Accident (CVA), is the clinical designation for damage to brain function due to loss of blood supply to the brain. Sixty percent are caused by cerebral thrombosis, a clot which forms on the inside of an artery and block blood flow; twenty percent are caused by embolus, a blood clot that "wanders" through the blood stream; and the other 20 percent are a result of cerebral hemorrhage where blood leaks out of vessels into the cranium.

BCH offers a comprehensive range of rehabilitation services for all types of stroke, addressing a wide range of patient needs.


Risk factors

While there are definite risk factors that can lead to stroke, one of the best methods of prevention is regular medical check-ups. Often a doctor can detect conditions that may be laying the groundwork for a future stroke, and many of these factors are treatable. Treatable risk factors include:

In addition to these treatable risk factors, there are additional factors that cannot be changed. These include:

Side effects and treatment

On average, every 53 seconds in America someone suffers a stroke, and it remains the third leading cause of death or long-term disability. Those who survive a stroke often have their lives radically altered due to stroke-related neurological effects. These effects can include:

Treatment options at Boulder Community Hospital

Medical advances in the last few years have increased the ability to treat strokes, and rehabilitation is a crucial component to recovery. At Boulder Community Hospital, we offer a comprehensive range of rehabilitation services for stroke survivors designed to help patients reach the highest possible level of independence and productivity. 

The continuum of care for a stroke usually starts at the emergency department, and may include neuro-ICU, acute hospitalization, inpatient rehabilitation, homecare, and outpatient rehabilitation. Boulder Community Hospital is the only facility in Boulder County that provides a full spectrum of treatment for strokes.

Both our inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation programs are recognized by the Joint Commission for outstanding quality of care.  In addition, the Inpatient Rehabilitation Program is recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) as a Comprehensive Integrated Inpatient Rehabilitation Program.

Inpatient Rehabilitation Services

Outpatient Rehabilitation Services

Rehabilitation patient stories

Jordan Marshall’s story


Jordan Marshall suffered a massive stroke in utero, which means she had a stroke before she was even born. The damage was so extensive that doctors didn't know whether she would ever walk, talk or see.

Now 8 years old, Jordan has made incredible progress. She participates fully in school and excels academically. Despite some physical challenges, Jordan rides a bike, runs, skis and climbs.

“We really feel so fortunate to live in a place where we have access to the quality of care at Boulder Community Hospital and the Mapleton Center,” says Kathryn Marshall, Jordan’s mother. “We feel like we are getting top-notch treatment and that has been a big part of why Jordan is doing so well today.”

Watch Jordan's video and learn about her progress through the help of BCH's rehabilitation services for children.

Eddie Gomez's story


After a devastating stroke, Eddie Gomez never thought he would walk again. His entire right side was paralyzed.

Almost immediately, nurses and therapists began working with Eddie on BCH's Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. Eddie remembers his second day of rehab well.

"I remember how my physical therapist got me to walk. I remember crying with joy, because I never thought that would happen again."

After his discharge, Eddie's recovery continued in BCH's Outpatient Rehabilitation stroke program, which helped him return to the many activities of everyday life. In less than a year after his stroke, Eddie was ready for a new challenge - starting a new career as a certified nurses aide and hyperbaric technologist.

"Had it not been for the foundation and courage I gained through BCH's stroke rehabilitation program, I wouldn't be in this position today. It really was the basis for me getting better," he says.  

Watch Eddie's video to learn about his recovery through BCH's inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation stroke programs.

Obtaining services

For more information regarding Inpatient Rehabilitation for stroke, contact us at (303) 938-3168.  For more information regarding Outpatient Rehabilitation, contact us at (303) 441-0493.

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