Days With My Dad



Who knew two terrible events—a stroke and a heart attack—could be a blessing? This is exactly what happened. I was only 42 when I suffered a near-fatal hemorrhagic stroke. Before the stroke, I was busy, working full time as a high school teacher and raising two teenage children, all while attending graduate school. My life was beyond full.

After my stroke, my husband, daughter, son, parents, siblings, neighbors and friends rallied to support me. My road to recovery was a long and winding one. After many months of inpatient rehabilitation, I came home to continue outpatient rehabilitation. My mother, father and mother-in-law shared the responsibility of getting me to appointments. Everyone did what they could to help me. My parents were both working, so their time was limited. We did our best to manage a difficult situation. We were wading through uncharted waters and did not know what to expect. We muddled through, day by day.

I lost a portion of my vision because of my stroke. I suffer from visual field cuts — my visual field is reduced on the left side of each eye. I was forced to give up driving and stop working. I became dependent on others to take me to appointments and errands.

Survivor Denice DeAntonio with her dad, Marco Sterley, and her service dog, Finley

Things took a drastic turn a year after my stroke when I received a call saying that my father was in the hospital suffering from chest pain. He was having a heart attack. We found out it was a significant myocardial infarction. He needed stents to open the vessels and would definitely need to make lifestyle changes. My father began to diligently watch his diet and exercise. It was a wakeup call for him.

Eventually, my father decided to retire. This allowed him to help me get to my doctor and therapy appointments and run errands. We began spending a lot of time together. I started to affectionately call these my ‘Days with Daddy.’ At some point, I realized that if I had not had a stroke and my dad had not had a heart attack, we would not have this time that we now spend together. We both would have been so busy with our lives and our careers that these memorable moments would have eluded us.

I wish I had not had a stroke and that my dad never had a heart attack. But they did occur, and I am grateful for the gifts I have been given because of these events. Especially the special time with my father.

Denice DeAntonio | Survivor

Fleetwood, Pennsylvania

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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.

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. We have trained several members of ASA's national call

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.

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.

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 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
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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!