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How old were you when you had your stroke? 20

  • Date of your stroke? 07/28/2007 
  • What general area do you live in?  Bedford, Pennsylvania
  • Type of Stroke? Carotid Artery Dissection
  • Any known reasons for your stroke? I was ejected from a motorcycle.
  • What were your symptoms? I had no symptoms; I don’t remember the actual accident.
  • Were you administered TPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) within the first 3-5 hours of your stroke? No.
  • Where did you go for inpatient rehab? UPMC Montefiore/UPMC Presbyterian – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Where did you go for outpatient rehab? Speech and Language Services, UPMC Bedford Memorial – Bedford, PA
  • What are your biggest challenges/residual effects?No one plans on having to learn to read, write and talk all over again as an adult; for me, it was from my ABC’s and 123’s, pretty much everything. To make it even more difficult to learn to talk, I had broken my jaw in the motorcycle accident and it (my jaw) was wired shut for a few months. It is so frustrating not being able to find words to communicate with others.Now, my aphasia is mild and is typically only noticeable when I haven’t gotten enough rest, but people who don’t know my situation usually call me out on it. The fact that I am now a horrible speller drives me crazy. I had lost some peripheral vision after the accident, but a lot of it has come back.

What keeps you motivated now?

Life keeps me going, as well as my friends and family.

Post recovery, what is something you have learned that might encourage others? 

I like to tell people that the best way to recover from a stroke is to be patient and positive; it’s all about their attitude. I could have listened to what my neurologists told my family, but I chose to prove them wrong. Even though, I was angry and upset about the situation; if you don’t like the situation you are in, make a change, it won’t change on its own.

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

My neurologists told my family that I would most likely wouldn’t be able to go back to college, work or take care of myself. Who thinks that they can tell a 20 year old girl what they can and cannot do? My main supported was ME; my goal was to prove my doctors wrong. My parents and sister were the most helpful people while I was in the hospital; they were and are beyond amazing. My sister kept my family calm and updated my friends on my status; she pretty much lived with me in the hospital. My friends and family were pretty awesome at sending me cards, notes and messages on a regular basis. My favorite professor from college called me regularly when I was in rehab to check on me; that meant everything to me.

It’s all about your attitude!

What’s your favorite motivation song?

“Better Things” by The Bouncing Souls – a cover of The Kinks

What is something quirky/fun about yourself?

I am a cat lady, but I only have two cats; their names are Betty and Stuffing. I like camping and kayaking. I play a lot of video games.

How did you hear about NOPW?

From Instagram! 

Follow Molly on instagram HERE!

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