Three years ago Mauritta Berlett from Creve Coeur had a massive stroke. She was rushed to OSF St. Francis Medical Center in Peoria.
"I woke up that morning feeling just fine. 3:00 in the afternoon my life turned around," she said.
After more than two years of rehabilitation, and the help of a cane, she has made huge strides.
"I can walk with a leg brace. I still can't write. I was a right handed, and I got to learn now to write with my left," Berlett said.
Berlett worked with therapists at the Illinois Neurological Institute Stroke Rehabilitation center. She started off paralyzed on her right side.
She said the repetitive therapy was frustrating, but if it weren't for these stepping and balance exercises, she wouldn't be where she is now.
"I thought they pushed me too much, but I'm glad they did because now I can do, I have not fallen in three years, I have not fallen once," she said.
Nancy Wiemers is an advanced practice nurse for the Illinois Neurological Institute and said stroke rehabilitation has come a long way.
"People of my generation and even my parents generation remember the time when someone had a stroke and they were pretty much sent home to live the rest of their lives with the care of their family. And it was for a lot of people in that age group, almost a death sentence," Wiemers said.
But Berlett is very much alive, she went from from partial paralysis, to now being able to climb stairs. She said it's all about determination.
"At first, the first month I was ready to toss everything, but you just have to keep after it."
The physical aspect was just one way Berlett was affected, she also had to go through speech therapy.
Berlett said it all paid off, she now sings in a choir and even drives her own car.