Many families prepare for Easter Sunday in their own ways. Some get ready for church, anticipate an afternoon egg hunt, or travel to see family. For Senior Pastor Rev. Gayla Rapp, Easter morning required weeks of preparations. That Sunday would be one of the most important Sundays for Asbury United Methodist Church, and for Gayla.
Saturday morning Gayla woke up and began her weekend rituals. She noticed a strange tingling that extended down her right side but did not pay it much attention. Gayla continued hustling and bustling to make sure everything was perfect for Sunday. A few hours later as the tingling sensation intensified she was on her way to the hospital. At the hospital it was determined that Gayla had experienced a stroke.
It took time for Gayla to realize the seriousness of her stroke and begin to imagine how different her life would be. She recalled her first day at RIKC, “When I walked through the doors I just knew there was something special happening here. It was different from any other place I had been”. With the help of her therapy team she set therapy goals to walk, talk, and read again. Ultimately her goal was to return to work at Asbury. Initially, Gayla received Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy Services.
Over the next four months Gayla and her family noticed the gains she was making toward her goals. She attributed her successes to the staff. “Everyone at RIKC cared not just about my therapy, but they were also concerned with my emotional, spiritual, and physical healing. I felt completely restored when I left RIKC”, said Gayla. It was also important to her that her entire group of therapists never allowed her to limit herself by what she couldn’t do but instead showed her what she could do.
Gayla has since returned to work. She can be found behind the rostrum at Asbury United Methodist Church three Sundays per month. Following her therapy she also participated in RIKC’s Ability Quest in 2013 to mark her landmark in recovery!
“I don’t really know who connected me with RIKC, but God Bless them”. – Rev. Gayla Rapp