The Day That Changed Our Lives
On August 30, 2009, after a relaxing anniversary weekend in New Orleans, my life changed forever when I suffered an acute hemorrhagic stroke.
I was at the Cincinnati airport when I collapsed. A month later I woke up in a foreign place.
I could see family, doctors and nurses, but I couldn’t walk, talk or read. I also couldn’t move or feel my right arm, hand or leg, and my vision was limited. I thought I was dreaming, but eventually I realized that it was real and serious, so I fought to survive and get back to my old self.
After almost 7 weeks, I finally went home and started the really hard work in outpatient therapy to regain the use of my right side, my communication skills, and my strength and balance.
Eventually, thanks to my support team, a lot of hard work, and my husband’s advocacy, I regained my independence, walking, talking, reading, writing, AND driving. Aside from some spasticity in my arm and a little bit of a limp, most people would not realize that I am a stroke survivor and are shocked when I tell them.
The Joy of After
Now years later, Brad and I have come to realize that while it has been very challenging, and some things are more difficult than before, our “new normal” has brought us much closer as a couple and enjoying moments that we previously took for granted.
As anyone who has been touched by stroke knows, recovery is all about uncertainty, and how far you go in many ways depends upon the effort and time you invest.
Experts will give you opinions and cite precedent, but don’t limit your expectations to theirs. You control your own destiny and how much better you can get. Progress is measured differently for everyone, but you will get out of your recovery what you put in! Success is infectious and when they see you working hard, your support team, whoever they are, will return the favor.
Good luck in your journey and never give up!
As a result of our experience, we were inspired to create the One Stroke Forward Foundation to provide aid for survivors and caregiver.
Meet Kelly & Brad
Kelly, along with her husband and caregiver, Brad Marsh, founded One Stroke Forward to support young stroke survivors.