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For 78-year-old Ann Levitt, recovering from a stroke, which caused the entire left side of her body to be paralyzed, was a months-long process.
After many hours of occupational and physical therapy, she regained movement in her left leg so that she could move with a walker, but her upper body remained very limited.
"Initially, I couldn't move anything on my left side," she recalls. "My lower body came back before my upper body.
"After occupational therapy at the rehab centre, I still only had a bit of function return to my hands."
For many like Ann, who experience a stroke or spinal cord injury, it can take weeks or months to recover, or even years. In fact, some patients never make a full recovery.
That's why rehabilitation is critical, and having access to life-changing rehabilitation for a longer duration than the global health system offers, as well as innovative rehabilitation technologies, can make all the difference to how well and how fast a patient recovers.
Enter UHN's KITE Innovations and Rehabilitation Clinics (KITE Clinics), a self-sustaining enterprise that is both a research and clinical environment that offers rehabilitation services to the public.
KITE Clinics fills a void in the healthcare system by simultaneously providing services patients need while ensuring there's enough staff working on important clinical research studies.
"Because KITE supports both clinical and research work, we feel that we can fill an existing gap in providing innovative services," explains Tharshini Chandra, Clinical Manager for KITE Clinics.