Triumph Over Stroke: Craig and Andrea’s Story

A Stroke Changed Their Lives – Inspires Couple to Support Advanced Stroke Technology at Bancroft NeuroRehab

couples stroke recovery

Craig and Andrea Lewis, both 55, of Central New Jersey, led an idyllic suburban life. Married for nearly 30 years, the college sweethearts who met as sophomores at Rutgers University enjoyed their thriving careers – Craig, with PBL Biosciences in Piscataway and Andrea, with Owens & Minor, based in Allentown, Pa. Craig, in particular, kept fit by riding his bicycle 30 miles each day, and spending autumn weekends cheering for his lifelong favorite team, the New York Jets.

“Craig always spoiled me,” Andrea says with a laugh. “I never had to cook or clean and relied on Craig to handle all our domestic responsibilities.”

The pair loved traveling all over the country with friends and family and spending time with their littlest family members, always babysitting and visiting.

Until May 24, 2010, when Craig suffered a brain stem stroke after one of his daily bike rides.

The incident left Craig with little but his cognitive functioning, and so began the steep climb to regain any remaining control over his motor skills, speech and communication.

Throughout his recovery, Craig received services at several rehabilitation programs before he and Andrea discovered Bancroft NeuroRehab’s full continuum of treatment options for patients with traumatic brain injuries. Since enrolling, Craig has regained some communication function, and has been able to eat one meal per day, even enjoying his favorite treat – chocolate.

Craig continues to receive physical, occupational and speech therapy at Bancroft NeuroRehab in Plainsboro, and his therapies have restored more independence than Andrea originally thought possible.

“Bancroft is a truly innovative program and I thank our lucky stars we’re able to participate,” she says.

Recently, the Lewis’ generously donated two pieces of therapeutic equipment to Bancroft NeuroRehab in Plainsboro. The Omnicycle, a bicycle-like apparatus that helps patients like Craig regain physical strength and The OmniVR™ Virtual Rehabilitation System, a motion-powered interactive video system developed to meet the needs of medically complex patients, will aid in physical, occupational and speech therapies.

The OmniVR™ Virtual Rehabilitation System
The OmniVR™ Virtual Rehabilitation System

Additionally, the Lewis Family generously donated an automatic front door to the Bancroft NeuroRehab facility in Plainsboro, N.J. The accessible new door will aid individuals with brain injuries and other neurological challenges to more easily enter and navigate their treatment space.


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