MaryAnn D Therapy Helps Manicurist Reclaim Life After Stroke

I am grateful for the wonderful therapists at Somerset Medical Center who were so caring and concerned about me. They pushed me and motivated me to recover.

For 25 years, MaryAnn Dellanno’s hands have been her livelihood. As a manicurist, she relied on nimble fingers to file and precisely polish clients’ nails.Then a stroke in February left her with little mobility on her entire left side, affecting her ability to use her left hand and putting her career in jeopardy.

After six months of physical and occupational therapy at Somerset Medical Center,Dellanno, 53, of Branchburg, is walking again and is back to painting nails.

“Like most people,until I had my stroke, I took for granted being able to use my legs, arms and hands,” says Dellanno. “I am grateful for the wonderful therapists at Somerset Medical Center who were so caring and concerned about me. They pushed me and motivated me to recover.”

Dellanno underwent occupational and physical therapy immediately after her stroke and throughout her three weeks as an inpatient at the medical center. She returned to the medical center for outpatient rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapy, for five months and now continues with outpatient therapy at Somerset Medical Center’s Sports Performance and Rehabilitation Program at TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.

Through physical therapy, she regained full function and ability to use her left leg, walk without any assistive device and regain her balance. Occupational therapists helped her relearn basic movements for her left arm and hand.

As part of her rehabilitation, therapists simulated a nail painting exercise in which Dellanno was able to apply the skills that she had relearned in a very practical way.

After her stroke, Dellanno also had difficulty concentrating and tracking a moving object, making it hard for her to read books. She underwent vision remediation with the occupational therapists to help improve her ability to read again.

“MaryAnn was a very strong-willed, motivated patient, ” explains Shaloo Choudhary, an occupational therapist at Somerset Medical Center. “She has great family support and was extremely dedicated to recovering. Her determination is evident when you look at her – she is back to most of her normal activities and is doing great.”

Her husband Fred knew she was in good hands with Somerset Medical Center therapists.

“The therapists at Somerset Medical Center truly love their jobs and showed a great deal of care and concern regarding MaryAnn’s recovery and improvement,” says Fred Dellanno.

“We were pleasantly surprised with all that Somerset Medical Center had to offer, and we recommend their rehabilitation department to friends and family members.”

“I feel great and returned to work this fall,” she says.

Somerset Medical Center is designated as a Primary Stroke Center by The Joint Commission and the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services. Rehabilitation services for stroke patients include physical, occupational and speech therapy. Therapists are trained in the neurodevelopmental technique, which has been shown to help stroke patients restore normal functioning faster.

For more information about stroke care or rehabilitation services at Somerset Medical Center, visit

– Jessica E. Jackson