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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Because of My Stroke

It was inconceivable during those first weeks, when I was critically ill, that good would come from having a stroke. However, I found out later having a stroke provided new experiences and opportunities. One day, this became very clear to me.

Melynda Rackley’s Why

It was the day she gave birth to her daughter Kayla. She was excited and scared heading into the operating room for the C-section. Her mother, Betty Young, was by her side, gripping her hand for support. Immediately after the birth, however, Melynda screamed because of a severe pain in her head.

Tedy's Team Turns 10

Like most young stroke survivors, Tedy Bruschi wanted to return to work after his stroke in February 2005 at 31. But considering he was a starting linebacker for the NFL’s New England Patriots, some might have questioned his decision. Now Tedy Bruschi’s team of dedicated volunteers continues to make a difference in raising awareness for stroke.

Tedy's Team Turns 10: A Message from His Father

Silence was Frank Mastrangelo’s first clue that something was wrong. "I was driving my two children home from summer camp in June 2006, and they were in the backseat yelling about something and then it all went completely quiet," he said. He turned around and saw their mouths moving but heard no sound for half a minute.

Tedy's Team Turns 10: A Stroke on the Ice

After homework, she didn’t watch TV or play video games, she practiced her stick handling in the driveway or cellar with a rubber ball and hockey stick. People began to refer to her as an "Olympic hopeful." All that changed when 12-year-old Jamie had a left-brain ischemic stroke on Aug. 9, 2009.

Enjoying My Second Chance

At age 13 I experienced a grand mal seizure. I was scared to death. Seizures were soon a common occurrence in my life for the next 34 years. Eventually during one hospital stay it was discovered that I had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

But You Look So Normal

By now I am used to the odd looks people give me when I say that I’ve had a stroke.

Confessions of the Lucky One

I survived a stroke in 1994 at age 51. The physical aspects of recuperating from that stroke were no easy task, but the mental deficits continue to be more difficult.

1000 to One: The Cory Weissman Story

What’s the difference between one and a thousand? For Cory Weissman,it’s a whole new life.

The Mother of Invention

Get to know the survival journey of Rosanna Radding, our Tips & Tricks columnist and founder of OneHandCan.com.
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Archive »For Survivors

Something's Different: Personality Changes After Stroke

Stroke can change a survivor’s personality. “If our relationships are like a dance, when personality changes, when someone fundamentally changes their dance steps, that requires other family members to change their dance steps as well.”

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.

When Stroke Affects the Temporal Lobe

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

Working on Fine Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are how we use our hands and coordinate the small muscles that control our fingers. Those skills, along with other arm functions such as reaching and grasping, can be affected by stroke. The stroke’s severity determines the extent of this weakness.

Helping Others Understand: Post-Stroke Fatigue

Stroke is unpredictable, but one extremely common effect of stroke is fatigue. Some studies indicate that as many as 70 percent of survivors experience fatigue at some time following their stroke.
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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.