‘Phenomenal:’ Man takes steps towards independence on Aurora Sinai Medical Center’s “Easy Street”

MILWAUKEE -- It's the only rehab center of its kind in all of Wisconsin. 70 to 80 patients are treated on Aurora Sinai Medical Center's "Easy Street" every day. One man traveled the road to get back on his feet.

Big or small, every step David Young takes is a stride towards independence. And getting back to the way his life used to be before February 14, 2016.

David Young

"My life has been different ever since," Young said.

When the then 58-year old had a stroke.

"I walked out to the refrigerator to get a bottle of water and this arm didn't work," Young said.

Young's stoke was so severe that he couldn't sit up without the help of at least two people.

"He really is a phenomenal story," said occupational therapist Ryan Healy.

Ryan Healy

But on Friday, June 1, he's walking on his own -- on Easy Street.

"It's really a cool place," said Director of rehab services at the Aurora Medical Center Ann Briscoe. "I don't think there is anything like this in Wisconsin."

The mock city inside Aurora Sinai Medical Center allows patients, like Young, a chance re-learn not only how to walk and talk -- but how to grocery shop, move around a restaurant or movie theater, get on and off a city bus and even drive a car.

"If we can get a patient confident in doing it in a real-life environment, we're confident as therapist we can get that patient safely home," Healy said.

Young not only got back on his feet, he also got back into the kitchen to re-learn how to do one of his favorite things: make breakfast for his wife.

"These are all skills you don't think twice about until you can't do them anymore," Young said. "Somebody was nice enough to take the time to teach you."

Young's road to recovery isn't over. The mechanic hasn't returned to work.

"I get a little bit better every day," Young said. "I strive for that. I work for that."

He's confident he will get better after a little more time on Easy Street.

The mock city was designed back in 1992.