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How old were you when you had your stroke? 29

  • Date of your stroke?  12/18/2012
  • What general area do you live in?  Kansas City, MO
  • Type of Stroke? Ischemic
  • What were the known reasons for your stroke? Carotid artery dissection. I was working out before I had my stroke, I had no symptoms.
  • Where did you go for in-patient rehab?  Mid America Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Where did you go for outpatient rehab? Mid America Rehabilitation Hospital

W hat was something that kept you going during your stay in the hospital that might encourage others? My friends and family were the absolute best! I got some great care packages, socks ,blankets, books, treats. Those things helped a ton and were invaluable! My mom and boyfriend traded nights to stay with me so I didn’t have to be alone which really helped me through my time at the hospitals. I knew the Lord was with me from the start like He always has been. I used a lot of my free time to pray and build a relationship with Him which is why I truly feel this was a blessing in disguise.

What keeps you motivated now? My friends, family and future self keep me going! You probably think it’s weird, but I say my future self because it helps me focus. I can just hear her encouraging me to keep working because she knows how good it’s going to get. I will never give up on myself! I see the recovery happening, I mean I went from absolutely no movement on the left side to walking on my own, driving and working again in less than a year so that tells me the best is yet to come! If you know someone going through recovery stay on them and encourage them always!

What are your biggest challenges/residual effects?

I still have left side weakness in my limbs. I lack motor function in my hand and still walk with a brace sometimes, without it I walk very slow. I was fortunate to have no cognitive problems. I can think, talk, eat and remember things the same as before.

What advice would you give someone recovering from a stroke now?

NEVER NEVER NEVER give up!!! You are in charge of your recovery, don’t wait for someone to “fix” you. Also don’t let anyone tell you you will never be able to do something! Keep pushing towards your goals. And another thing, set short term goals. There is no fast lane through recovery. If there were, trust me, I would have found it! I CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH HIM WHO STRENGTHENS ME. Philippians 4:13
Look up this survivor for inspiration Tom Balchin helped me reading about him.

NEVER NEVER NEVER give up!!! You are in charge of your recovery, don’t wait for someone to “fix” you.

What is something quirky/fun about yourself?

I’m a weirdo and like to laugh at myself!

Any other missing details to your story?

 I was a working Fire Fighter when I had my stroke and I am determined to go back one day! I am still working for the Fire Dept and I thank God every day for that. It’s not gonna be to far out of reach!

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