Survival Journeys

Though strokes often have common effects, each one is also different. And each stroke survivor's journey is as unique as the individual themselves. Survival Journeys features stories by and about stroke survivors, sharing their experiences and insights.


 

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Speechless No More!

For Phyllis Weiss, a 65-year-old survivor from Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, each sound she painstakingly — but patiently — forms is a triumph. In her quiet, halting delivery is an underlying strength and vitality. Qualities that carried her through an entire year of silence.

Gratitude Schmatitude

Survivor, Quenby Schuyler, had never been a particularly grateful type of person. After her stroke, her take on gratitude changed.

Sharing My WOW

Life-altering events force us to look back on our lives. That was especially true for me during the first four months after my hemorrhagic stroke in 2013 at age 44.

Expressing Creativity Through Music After Stroke

Music lights up the whole brain, “like the sky during a fireworks display,” said Kyle Wilhelm, MA, MTBC in the Music Therapy Services department of West Music. This seems to bring delight as many survivors experience firsthand.

Forever Young

Something arrived from Social Security: “This is to inform you that we no longer consider you Disabled. As of now you are officially just Old. Your benefits will be decreased accordingly.” Seriously?

Tyree Russell’s Why

The wholesale car salesman from Chesapeake, Virginia, watched several relatives struggle with heart disease, but he didn’t realize a family history could increase his risk for it. “I thought I was invincible,” Russell said.

Profiles of Adolescent Survival

Shellby Watts and Erica Singleton both experienced strokes as children. Now 16 and 35 respectively, they reflect on their experiences and share how they’re doing today.

Finding Myself

In a period of 24 hours, I went from being an executive vice president of a national not-for-profit fundraising company to an unemployed housewife. The friends I had prior to the stroke forgot why we became friends. As a survivor, the world looked different to me.

Paying It Forward

Stroke Connection offered me the opportunity to participate in the Guided Autobiography program. Now I am paying it forward by facilitating a writing group.

There Are No Accidents, Even Cerebrovascular Ones

A stroke nearly took Mark Moore’s life, but his wife Brenda knew the questions to ask to get the care he needed. When Mark felt like giving up in recovery, Brenda knew exactly how to change his attitude.
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Archive »For Survivors

Maintain What You Gain

A year or two out from therapy, survivors may feel progress has stopped or that they’ve lost some of their rehab gains. That would be a good time to get some more therapy. For survivors on Medicare, it is part of their benefits.

Helping Others Understand: Post-stroke Central Pain

We know that it can sometimes be hard for family and friends to understand how profoundly post-stroke central pain may be impacting a survivor. We encourage you to share this article with the people in your life to help them understand.

Helping Others Understand: Post-Stroke Central Pain Fact Sheet

It can sometimes be hard for family and friends to recognize how much post-stroke central pain may be affecting a survivor. We’ve created a quick-reference sheet that you can share with family and friends to help them better understand.

Finley the Service Dog: A Story of True Love

Finley, my Golden Retriever service dog, was rescued as a puppy, but ultimately, I was the one rescued by him. He is a hard worker, always ready to do his job, a constant AND faithful companion.

Service Animals

Mary Burch, Ph.D., director of the Good Canine Program at the American Kennel Club, and Michelle Williams, public relations coordinator at Canine Companions for Independence answer questions about what to know when considering getting a service dog.
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See allReturning to Work

Stroke Survivor Goes Back to Work . . . for Herself

As I approach the eighth anniversary of being in private practice, I think about how it all came about and how if I hadn’t had a massive hemorrhagic stroke, I might not have been so bold as to open my own business.

The ADA Turns 25

Starting in the ’70s, the disability rights movement learned an important lesson from the civil rights movement and got organized. Their goals were the elimination of attitudinal, communication, transportation, policy and physical barriers so as to integrate people with disabilities into society.

Returning to Work After Stroke

For many younger survivors, going back to work is often the measure for recovery. Here's some excellent guidance if you're working toward getting back into the workplace.

Working My Way Back

My journey started on September 8, 1995 at 5:30 p.m. I was 47. I got up from my chair and said I did not feel good and then collapsed onto the floor.
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Departments

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.

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!