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Stroke Patient Praises Rehabilitation Services at Atrium Health Floyd
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Stroke Patient Praises Rehabilitation Services at Atrium Health Floyd


Support group complements strong rehab program  

ROME, Ga., May 16, 2024 Chad Byrd thought a tick had bitten him. It was July 5, 2017, and the Calhoun resident was on vacation in South Carolina. That morning when he awoke his hands were tingling, but that didn't keep him from cooking breakfast for his family.

By about noon he told his wife, Heather, something wasn't right. She took him to the hospital in Beaufort and by the next day he was hospitalized in Charleston. At the age of 44, he had a stroke. He initially thought the tingling in his hands was due to a tick or sleeping on his arms wrong. Instead, it was because of blood clots in his brain.

Two weeks later a Floyd Medical Center ambulance took him to the Rome hospital, where he underwent inpatient rehabilitation.

“They were absolutely amazing," he said of Floyd's rehab team. “They were very positive, and they had a huge impact on how I started my recovery because starting positive just made a huge difference. I couldn't have asked for better therapists at all, in any of it, occupational, physical and speech therapy. Initially. I couldn't even pronounce certain words."

A crucial step in recovering from a stroke is rehabilitation. Fortunately, Byrd was in the right place.

Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center is recognized as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission. The certification recognizes hospitals that have the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients.

Byrd also played a role in getting a stroke support group started at the hospital, which started meeting recently.

He said stroke survivors go through a lot. Many, like Byrd, can't do everything they could do before, even if the rehabilitation goes well. Sharing that experience with someone who understand really helps.

“Having a stroke survivor support group, even if it was just for a month, would have been huge when I first had my stroke," Byrd said. “I went down a deep, dark rabbit hole with depression, just not knowing what to do. I had never been through anything that traumatic." He said he still enjoys fishing and camping.

 During the first support meeting he attended at Atrium Health Floyd, he said he almost cried because of another man's reaction. “The guy actually cried a little bit, and I was so glad to know something like that was available for him," Byrd said.

The group, which includes stroke patients and caregivers, meets the first Thursday of each month from noon to 1 p.m. at in the Inpatient Rehab Solarium on the sixth floor of the hospital. Anyone who needs help getting to the location should visit the front desk in the hospital lobby.

Registration is encouraged but not required. For more information or to register, call 706-509-5994 or email

About Atrium Health Floyd

The Atrium Health Floyd family of health care services is a leading medical provider and economic force in northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd is part of Charlotte, North Carolina-based Advocate Health, the third-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, created from the combination of Atrium Health and Advocate Aurora Health. Atrium Health Floyd employs more than 3,500 teammates who provide care in over 40 medical specialties at three hospitals: Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center – a 304-bed full-service, acute care hospital and regional referral center in Rome, Georgia; Atrium Health Floyd Polk Medical Center in Cedartown, Georgia; and Atrium Health Floyd Cherokee Medical Center in Centre, Alabama; as well as Atrium Health Floyd Medical Center Behavioral Health – a freestanding 53-bed behavioral health facility in Rome – and also primary care and urgent care network locations throughout northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Atrium Health Floyd also operates a stand-alone emergency department in Chattooga County, the first such facility to be built from the ground-up in Georgia.

About Atrium Health 
Atrium Health is a nationally recognized leader in shaping health outcomes through innovative research, education and compassionate patient care. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Atrium Health is part of Advocate Health, the third-largest nonprofit health system in the United States, which was created from the combination with Advocate Aurora Health. A recognized leader in experiential medical education and groundbreaking research, Wake Forest University School of Medicine is its academic core. Atrium Health is renowned for its top-ranked pediatric, cancer and heart care, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Atrium Health is also a leading-edge innovator in virtual care and mobile medicine, providing care close to home and in the home. Ranked nationally among U.S. News & World Report's Best Hospitals in eight pediatric specialties and for rehabilitation, Atrium Health has also received the American Hospital Association's Quest for Quality Prize and its 2021 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award, as well as the 2020 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services Health Equity Award for its efforts to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in care. With a commitment to every community it serves, Atrium Health seeks to improve health, elevate hope and advance healing – for all, providing $2.8 billion last year in free and uncompensated care and other community benefits. 
About Advocate Health
Advocate Health is the third-largest nonprofit integrated health system in the United States – created from the combination of Advocate Aurora Health and Atrium Health. Providing care under the names Advocate Health Care in Illinois, Atrium Health in the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama, and Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, Advocate Health is a national leader in clinical innovation, health outcomes, consumer experience and value-based care, with Wake Forest University School of Medicine serving as the academic core of the enterprise. Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, Advocate Health serves nearly 6 million patients and is engaged in hundreds of clinical trials and research studies. It is nationally recognized for its expertise in cardiology, neurosciences, oncology, pediatrics and rehabilitation, as well as organ transplants, burn treatments and specialized musculoskeletal programs. Advocate Health employs nearly 155,000 team members across 68 hospitals and over 1,000 care locations and offers one of the nation's largest graduate medical education programs with over 2,000 residents and fellows across more than 200 programs. Committed to equitable care for all, Advocate Health provides nearly $6 billion in annual community benefits.