Meyer's Stroke Story

Jun 6, 2019

For woodworker, Delray and Pinecrest are the tools to rebuild a life

Meyer Malakoff, stroke patient, rehab patient; Delray Medical Center, Pinecrest Rehabilitation and Outpatient Hospital

Malakoff portraitMeyer Malakoff has always been the type to lend a hand wherever needed, spending much of his time in the Kings Point woodshop.

“Over the past 15 years, I’ve built hundreds of wooden toys and specialized equipment for children with special needs,” he says. 

After a heart attack and mini-stroke, Malakoff was worried about getting back to his important work.

“After my stroke, I feared I wouldn’t be able to continue my work,” he says, “but the quality outpatient treatment I received during my recovery was instrumental in helping me restore my regular routine.”

Malakoff spent more than five months in and out of the Pinecrest Rehabilitation and Outpatient Hospital at Delray Medical Center. While accepting assistance from others was a new experience for Malakoff, his physical therapist was determined to see him improve.

“She helped me focus on a different kind of building. Instead of building with wood, I had to build up my walking, talking and balance,” he says. “With the excellent help and support of the Pinecrest therapists, I found myself back at the shop before the New Year rang in.”

Confidence through crisis

A few months later, Malakoff’s routine was once again put on hold when he lost his balance getting ready one day. His wife found him lying on the floor in agony and quickly called 9-1-1.

“Despite the pain and shock, both of us were comforted by knowing the EMTs would take me to Delray Medical Center’s well-prepared emergency department,” says Malakoff.

Once at the ER, the staff acted with expert precision to assess his injuries and address the pain.

“They determined that I had two hairline fractures in my spine, so I had to remain at the hospital. I knew from my past experiences that, despite it being a holiday weekend, I’d receive the best of care from Delray staff. When my doctor recommended Pinecrest for another round of physical therapy, any lingering fears over my future disappeared.”

Six weeks after being admitted to Pinecrest, Malakoff and his wife were elated by his progress. His therapist helped him with daily activities and taught him how to minimize pain and strain and to rebuild his independence.

“After my fall, I relied on extra-strength prescription pain medication, which left me unable to use the power woodworking equipment in the shop,” he says. “Now, thanks to the excellent care I received at Pinecrest, I rarely need to take even over-the-counter pain pills. I’ve even been able to make a few trips back to my woodshop!”

Malakoff says that each time he found himself at Delray Medical Center and at Pinecrest, the staff exceeded his expectations by providing him with the highest standard of care.

“I’ve always taken pleasure in building things for others,” he says. “This time, Delray Medical Center and Pinecrest have helped me rebuild my life.”

Remember: You can always ask the EMS to take you to Delray Medical Center.

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