RED LODGE – The Stroke Retreat Camp in Red Lodge was held this weekend.
Stroke Camp is a is a three-day retreat held at Rock Creek Resort for stroke survivors and their caregivers.
“We get here and I’m not even out of the car yet and there’s like four people ready to help unload bags, beginning walking in you know you’re in the right place. And everyone’s friendly, no one looks at you and says do I need to help him with his walker, they just kind of gauge what everything’s like, and then fun,” said Jennifer Seitz, a caregiver and wife of a stroke survivor. Her husband suffered his stroke over a year ago.
Volunteers, therapists from around the country, and nurses from St. Vincent Healthcare provided emotional and physical support to campers.
“They make you feel at home here. Everybody’s friendly, and the nurses from St. V’s are incredible, they know everything about strokes,” said stroke survivor Gary Montgomery.
The camp gives survivors a chance to be catered to for a weekend and for caregivers to take a step back and take time to themselves.
“I would say, it’s a relief of being in the safe environment, and nobody going, ‘Well, how come your house isn’t clean,’ or ‘Why isn’t dinner on the table,’ or ‘That doesn’t sound like it should be so hard,’ because everybody gets it,” Seitz said.
“We all take everything for granted, we really do. When you’re taught when you’re young how to drive it’s automatic, well this hand I had to reteach how to do that. And I had to reteach my leg how to do that, and there we go,” Montgomery said.
“I did X, Y, and Z today, and I’m like, you did all of that by yourself, and he’s like, ‘Oh yeah’ and is just beaming, and it’s like the first time your child takes a step. And sometimes it’s big things. Sometimes it’s something super small that they don’t even realize and then we see it. So yeah, there’s a lot of pride in watching him continuously get better and stronger,” Seitz said.
For information on how to get involved in 2019’s stroke camp, visit strokecamp.org, or contact Penny Clifton at 237-7965.
Reporting by Jenny Fick for MTN News