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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Poems of a Recovery Journey

As a rehab patient, I found a spiral notebook and kept a journal of my feelings and experiences during this totally unexpected set of circumstances. I wrote these three poems to share encouragement with anyone who needs it.

Walking the Runway to Recovery

2011 was a tough year - but after surviving kidney failure, a stroke, seizures, high blood pressure and a Lupus diagnosis, Deborah Williams advice is to never give up.

When You Can't Just Do It: Motivation Magic

“When I saw that I could still entertain people, that’s when the light went on that there was hope for the future, even if I had to do it from a wheelchair. Entertaining people gave me a purpose.” He did his first post-stroke magic show at a school three months after leaving rehab.

Survive Thrive & Lead

Dr. Donna Arnett, past president of the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, has a couple of firsts to her credit: the first epidemiologist to be president of the organization and the first stroke survivor.

From a Wheelchair to a Corvette

After much hard work and determination, Bill Perrick mastered a new set of wheels after a stroke.

Reinventing Myself

Strokes are devastating because they take so many things from us, but they do not have to rob us of our essence.

Who Am I?

A stroke changes so many things so quickly. Survivor Dorcas Sutton explores questions of what it has done to her own identity.
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Archive »For Survivors

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.

Helping Others Understand: Post-Stroke Fatigue Info Sheet

It can sometimes be hard for family and friends to recognize how much post-stroke fatigue 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.

Am I Losing Ground?

Survivors are sometimes concerned that they are losing function after they leave formal therapy – making gains while working with therapists, but feeling loss of strength and function even when continuing to do exercises at home. Rehabilitation experts weigh in on the topic.

Dr. Glen Gillen Weighs In on 'Am I Losing Ground?'

Occupational therapist, Dr. Glen Gillen, adds his perspectives to those of the physical therapists featured in "Am I Losing Ground?" in this supplemental web-only feature.

Half a World Away: Visual Field Cuts

Strokes can often affect vision and processing of visual information. The most common visual deficit is hemianopia, or visual field cut. Understand different types of field cuts and learn about potential treatments.
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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.