Non-profit Winston-Salem organization helps stroke survivors regain skills

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Nigel Lowe may look perfectly fine, but he’s still recovering from the massive stroke he suffered in 2013.

“We almost lost him,” said Nigel’s wife Ruth Lowe. “It was a really long recovery. He spent 10 days in the ICU and moved to Ward and then went to Sticht Center at Baptist for 7 weeks.”

But then doctors sent Nigel home and Ruth became his sole caregiver. Once traditional therapies ran out, Nigel plateaued -- a common problem for people who suffer traumatic brain injury or stroke, including Jason Siler.

“What I’ve realized is I can't fix everything,” said Siler. “I just try to fix one or two problems at a time and make that work. Once that's done I go to the next."

Both are clients of Carolina Center for Cognitive Rehabilitation in Winston-Salem. Through cognitive rehabilitation therapy, CCCR helps people like them regain and develop the skills they suddenly lost.

Robin Embry founded the non-profit organization with the goal to give low-cost, long-term care tailored to each individual participant in a community-based center.

“Our mission is to create a place where people can come and recognize that they can continue to get better. They can have some control over their destiny,” Embry said. “They can come and work and learn and grow and share with each other triumphs, and challenges and work through those challenges in small groups and teams and one-on-one."

And for the participants -- some of whom have been coming for years -- it’s the home they all need.

“It’s just been a blessing really,” said Ruth. “It’s been so good for both of us.”

The Winston-Salem Foundation has supported CCCR with grants totaling $36,675 since 2015 to fund a part-time clinical rehabilitation professional position.

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