The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

The Township Times

The Student News Site of Manheim Township High School

The Township Times

2024 Prom
June 4, 2024

Principal David Rilatt Returns After Suffering From a Spinal Stroke

The MT field hockey team shows support for Mr. Rilatt. Photo credit to Jessica Shellenberger.

On Aug. 4, MT principal Mr. David Rilatt suffered a spinal stroke that left him paralyzed from the neck down. His stroke was caused by a blood clot that migrated to his C6 spinal nerve.

Spinal strokes are one of the more rare types of strokes, even rarer than a brain stroke. A spinal stroke accounts for around 1.25% of all strokes, according to the Brain and Spine Foundation. This type of stroke is more common in people that are on the operating table or in people that suffered a traumatic injury to their spine in an accident, so Rilatt’s doctors are still running tests since he was not affected in that type of way.

Rilatt first stayed at Lancaster General Hospital for 10 days. He was then taken to Penn State’s rehab hospital where he stayed for around one month. During his stay at the rehab hospital, Rilatt had to relearn how to do daily chores and tasks such as walking, and eating on his own.

Rilatt is still experiencing some side effects such as limited strength and the inability to feel hot and cold in his left hand.

“The fact that I went from pretty much being paralyzed and unable to walk and move my arms to where I am now is absolutely amazing,” said Rilatt.

Rilatt emphasized the support that he had from the school community during a challenging time in his life.

“The amount of support that the Manheim Township school community has provided me along the way has been absolutely incredible,” said Rilatt.

Rilatt was truly encouraged by the well wishes he was sent, the signs that were held up by the student section at football games, the fall sports that took time out of their practice to hold up signs and all the cards and emails that were sent by faculty and students.

“We were happy to be a part of it. Mr. Rilatt is such a big part of our school and specifically our athletics. We wanted him to know we were thinking of him and wishing him the best,” said boys varsity soccer head coach and history teacher Kevin Baker.

Rilatt feels that it is very important for everyone to recognize the signs of a stroke and act quickly. Strokes can show symptoms in many different ways such as sudden loss of balance, confusion, speech problems such as slurred speech or difficulty speaking, drooping of the face, or even seizures. If you ever experience anything along the lines of these symptoms, Rilatt urges you not to wait.

“Know your body, listen to your body, and do not wait to seek medical attention,” he said.

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About the Contributor
Reagan Wagner
Reagan Wagner, Staff writer
Reagan is a staff writer for The Township Times and is a sophomore at MT.

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