How I Learned to Love Facebook

Survivor Ronnie Foster with wife and caregiver Connie

On November 21, 2013, when my husband Ronnie, a stroke survivor since 1997, went missing, my love/hate relationship with Facebook took a sharp turn toward love.

The weather was fine, and Ronnie, 67, wanted to take a walk. His path included a road under construction near our home. I would drive him a ways down the road and he would walk back to the house. On this particular day, Ronnie wanted me to go farther than usual. At a half mile, I stopped and refused to go farther because the walk back already exceeded his usual distance. As I drove away, I looked in my mirror and saw his weight shifted toward his cane with that lifeless right arm glued to his side but walking in my direction. All was good. It was 10 in the morning.

When Ronnie had not returned an hour later, we began our search. My son Jacob and I walked Ronnie’s path, checking the ditches on both sides of the road. We searched far beyond the distance we thought he could physically manage but found nothing. At 1 o’clock, I called 911 and reported him missing. As the hours dragged on, more and more deputies joined the search, but to no avail.

When Ronnie’s older daughter, Emily, arrived, I asked her what she felt about me posting something on Facebook. She told me to go for it. So I posted this: "Please be aware friends — Ronnie went for a walk at 10:00 this morning and we have not seen him since." I asked that if anyone had seen him that they let us know or call our county sheriff’s department.

The offers to join the search poured in. However, we had to wait for the sheriff’s approval before bringing in volunteers. As night fell, the sheriff gave his okay. At 4:20 p.m., I posted again: "Sheriff has cleared for volunteers to help. If you can help search, please report ASAP to staging area on center hill road at new road construction."

Within minutes we had friends and family searching roadsides, ditches and culverts. Around 5 p.m., two of the volunteers, old friends Danny and Jimmy, found him deep in a wooded thicket. By the time I fought my way through the briars and mud and got to Ronnie, the guys had him standing. He was wet, covered in mud and blood but was okay. At 5:12 p.m. I posted two words: "Ronnie found."

Later Danny’s wife told me that Danny had asked God that if Ronnie was alive to lead him to his old friend. We continually thank God for the emergency responders and the huge turnout of our Facebook friends, family and volunteers who were there for us when we needed them most.

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Stroke Rehabilitation

Making the Best Decisions at Discharge After Stroke

The type of rehabilitation and support systems a survivor receives at discharge can strongly influence health outcomes and recovery. In this, the first part of a two-part series on stroke rehab, we offer guidance for the decision-making process required when it’s time to leave the hospital.

What to Expect from Outpatient Rehab

After stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type of rehabilitation. Outpatient therapy may consist of Several types of therapy. Whether a patient is referred to inpatient or outpatient therapy depends on the level of medical care required.

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

Following a stroke, about two-thirds of survivors receive some type rehabilitation. In this second of our two-part series, we want to alleviate some of the mystery, fear and anxiety around the inpatient rehab part of the stroke recovery journey.
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AHA-ASA Resources

The Support Network

When faced with challenges recovering from heart disease or stroke, it’s important to have emotional support. That is why we created a network to connect patients and loved ones with others during their journey.

Caregiver Guide to Stroke

The Caregiver Guide to Stroke is meant to help caregivers better navigate the recovery process and the financial and social implications of a stroke.

Stroke Support Group Finder

To find a group near you, simply enter your ZIP code and a mile radius. If your initial search does not pull up any groups, try

Tips for Daily Living Library

This volunteer-powered library gathers tips and ideas from stroke survivors, caregivers and healthcare professionals all over the country who’ve created or discovered adaptive and often innovative ways to get things done!

Stroke Family Warmline

The Warmline connects stroke survivors and their families with an ASA team member who can provide support, helpful information or just a listening ear.

Let's Talk About Stroke Patient Information Sheets

Let's Talk About Stroke is a series of downloadable patient information sheets, created by the American Stroke Association, that presents information in a question-and-answer format that's brief, easy to follow and easy to read.

Request Free Stroke Information Packets

Fill out this online form to request free information about a variety of post-stroke topics.
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Stroke & Parts of the Brain

When Stroke Affects the Occipital Lobe

Our occipital lobe, the smallest of the four lobes of the cerebral cortex, controls how we visually interpret our world.

When Stroke Affects the Cerebellum

The cerebellum contains 80 percent of our neurons. Its job seems to be to make things better. We talked with neuroscientist Jeremy Schmahmann about how stroke affects the “little brain.”

When Stroke Affects the Parietal Lobe

The parietal lobe helps us make sense of sensory information, like where our bodies and body parts are in space, our sense of touch, and the part of our vision that deals with the location of objects.

When Stroke Affects the Frontal Lobe

Of the four lobes that make up the cerebral cortex, the frontal lobe is the largest. It plays a huge role in many of the functions that make us human — memory, language, movement, judgment, abstract thinking.

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

The temporal lobe has several functions, mainly involved with memory, perception and language.

When Stroke Affects the Brain Stem

The brain stem serves as a bridge in the nervous system. It sits at the top of the spinal column in the center of the brain. When a stroke happens there, it can cause a few different deficits and, in the most severe cases, can lead to locked-in syndrome.

When Stroke Affects the Thalamus

The thalamus can be thought of as a "relay station," receiving signals from the brain’s outer regions (cerebral cortex), interpreting them, then sending them to other areas of the brain to complete their job.
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Stroke Notes

Stroke-related news you can use about new scientific findings, public policy, programs and resources.

Readers Room

Articles, poems and art submitted by stroke survivors and their loved ones.

Life Is Why

Everyone has a reason to live a longer, healthier life. These stroke survivors, caregivers and others share their 'whys'. We'd love for you to share yours, too!

Everyday Survival

Practical tips and advice for day-to day living after stroke.

Life At The Curb

A unique perspective on survival by comedian and stroke survivor John Kawie.

Simple Cooking

Cooking at home can be a daunting task, but a rewarding one for your diet and lifestyle (and your wallet). Making small changes in your diet is important to your heart health. Here are simple, healthy and affordable recipes and cooking tips.

Helping Others Understand

Stroke affects people differently and many of the effects of stroke can be complicated. Helping friends and family understand how a stroke is affecting a survivor can help everyone involved.

Support Showcase

Our new department highlighting the good work being done by stroke support groups from around the nation. If you are part of a successful support group we should consider featuring, let us know!