Published on October 15, 2014

Mercy Philadelphia’s Stroke Support Group to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

West Philadelphia, PA (October 15, 2014): On November 6, 2014, Mercy Philadelphia’s Stroke Support Group will celebrate 10 years of providing support and education services to those who have suffered from stroke.

stroke support groupThe Stroke Support Group, founded by Stroke Coordinator Lynn Rinylo, is a series of free meetings designed to offer extra help and to provide information for individuals who have suffered a stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA or “mini” stroke). Meetings are also open to family members and caregivers.

“I have been coming to the stroke support group at Mercy Philadelphia since the second time I suffered a stroke,” said Margaret Johnson, a Philadelphia resident who has been attending the stroke support group since its inception in 2004. “After my first stroke, I was treated at Mercy Philadelphia. The second time, I awoke to a terrible headache that only got worse and I knew something was wrong. I was brought back to Mercy and that’s when I met Lynn.

“She asked me if I would be interested in attending a new stroke support group. At first, I did not want to go, but after giving it some thought, I decided to try it – and I am so glad I did. I met so many people who had gone through what I had, was able to talk about my feelings and about my experiences, and even learned valuable information.”

Years later, when her own daughter suffered a stroke, the stroke support group helped Johnson cope and learn how to care for her.

“Because of the group, I learned how to care for my daughter, how to recognize certain symptoms, and what to do if another stroke ever occurred.”

Ten years later, the group has become a second home to Johnson, who recommends the group to anyone she knows to have suffered from stroke.

“A lot of people who come to the group can’t talk or walk and sometimes they feel alone. The group makes them feel welcome and comfortable – and they know they are not alone in their struggles. Lynn does a wonderful job of encouraging everyone to keep coming back and you can see how much she enjoys what she does.

She makes it feel like less than a meeting and more like a party. We all talk to one another, encourage and support one another, and if anyone misses a session, we check on them to make sure they are okay. We’ve become family and we welcome anyone who wants to join us.”

Mercy Philadelphia’s Stroke Support Group meets the first Thursday of each month

Mercy Philadelphia is a recipient of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.  The award recognizes Mercy Philadelphia's commitment and success in implementing excellent care for stroke patients, according to evidence-based guidelines. The hospital is also a designated Primary Stroke Center, having earned the Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval™.

If you are interested in attending a Stroke Support Group meeting, or would like more information on stroke, please contact Lynn Rinylo at 215.748.9592.

Photo Caption: Attendees of the Mercy Philadelphia Stroke Support Group, including Director of Rehab Service Patrick O’Connor, MPT, CCS, MBA (top row, third from left) and Stroke Coordinator Lynn Rinylo (bottom  row, third from left).