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

What to Expect in Stroke Rehab

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

Taking Care When Treating Atrial Fibrillation

A few years ago, several new anticoagulants were approved by the FDA. Because they are easier to use, with fewer side effects, their popularity has surged — but they aren’t entirely without risk.

Crowdsourcing a Cure

Stroke can be life-altering. While many of the risk factors of stroke are modifiable, scientists are beginning to work with individuals, like you, to look closer at other factors, such as genetics, diet, daily routines, and the environment.

Grieving the Old Self, Embracing the New

Stroke often changes a survivor’s ability to do things that are important to them, and the loss of what you personally, dearly valued in yourself can be very challenging. Survivor Rachel Scanlon Henry shares how her own process might’ve been better supported if she’d been conscious of the stages of grieving as she experienced them.

Understanding Common Post-Stroke Medications

Understanding the purpose, potential side effects and risks of not taking your medicines as directed is important, whether they’re prescribed or over the counter. Let’s look at some of the most common medication therapies recommended following an ischemic 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.