Bill Bushlen is a member of Destination Rehab’s 2018 Adventure Group. Bill and his wife, Debbie, moved to Bend after his stroke in October of 2014. Prior to devoting his life to his recovery and educating the community on seeking care immediately, Bill lived on Wallowa Lake and worked in Joseph, Oregon as a real estate broker. Bill was also active in multiple Rotary clubs including a tenure as president of the LaGrande club. Read on to learn more about Bill!
Q: How and why did you connect with Destination Rehab?
A: I met Carol-Ann and heard about Destination Rehab at our local stroke survivor support group. And, I participated in the first Walk, Wheel and Talk event in May.
Q: How would your family describe you?
A: Debbie would say I am stubborn, motivated, and determined especially when it comes to walking.
Q: What is an unknown or lesser known fact about yourself?
A: I traveled extensively overseas as a logging equipment salesman, and I was known as quite the ladies’ man before meeting my wife.
Q: What are your hobbies?
A: Prior to having the stroke, I enjoyed boating, fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, wood working, and hunting. Now while I’m recovering, I enjoy reading, making new friends, and being in the pool.
Q: What was your favorite Destination Rehab event from 2017 and why?
A: SOAR! Because I was able to ride a recumbent tricycle and go so fast. It was so free and thrilling!
Q: What Destination Rehab event are you most looking forward to this year?
A: A Destination Rehab pool party at my community pool.
Q: What is a personal goal you have for this upcoming year?
A: To purchase a recumbent tricycle for personal use.
Q: Is there anything else you would like to share with the larger community?
A: It is vital that everyone learn the signs/symptoms of a stroke to seek early medical intervention. Call 911 and remember F.A.S.T.
F: Face drooping
A: Arms uneven when held up
S: Speech slurred or nonsensical
T: Time (Each hour is brain cell death—seek medical attention early by calling 911!)
It is also important that people know that recovery can be possible even years after a stroke. Extensive, repetitive rehabilitation helps retain brain cells known as neuroplasticity. I’m so thankful Destination Rehab allows me to continue working towards recovery in a real-world environment with real friends.