I do the Impossible All The Time!
At 32, I had my 2nd Brain Aneurysm and 1st stroke. I was signed to Suave House/Universal Records before this change in my life. I was also told I may never walk or speak again and to be put in a nursing home.
Hi, my name is Toni "Alika" Hickman. I put emphasis my middle name "Alika," because it means beautiful warrior, and after having my 2nd Brain aneurysm and 1st stroke at the age of 32 and becoming partially paralyzed, I eventually decided that this was a better fit for my identity now.
Before my 1st aneurysm in 2004, I was a hip hop artist signed to Universal/Suave House Records. I have been featured on Gold and Platinum albums, and worked with artist such as Jagged Edge, Peaty Pablo, Jazzy Pha, and more.
My 1st aneurysm didn't stop me to much; I had a small surgery & was back on the hip hop scene within 6mths. It wasn't until my 2nd brain aneurysm that happened while I was visiting New Orleans that my life was completely shattered. I was just out there celebrating the completion of my 1st album, and never expected that I would have to have brain surgery to save my life.
The doctors told my mom I had a 50/50 chance of remaining alive. The Doctors shaved all my hair off and started surgery. As they got in my head, my body went into shock and I also had a stroke while on the operating table. When I came to, I had big tubes going down my mouth and up my nose, I was paralyzed, I couldn't talk, and I couldn't add 2+2. The Doctors suggested to my mom that she put me in a nursing home, because they were not sure if I would ever be able to speak or walk again. So here I am, a 6 feet model type used to wearing my weaves down to my butt, to.. a woman with blackened eyes due to the surgery, and a completely bald head in a wheelchair with no voice & no confidence...only tears.
After 4 months in rehabilitation, falling, crying, depression, being extremely stubborn and being the youngest patient in the center, I finally walked out the hospital with a walking cane. They wanted to send me home with a wheelchair, but I refused. If I can walk, I will walk.They transferred me back to Atlanta to receive more rehabilitation.
Since then, I have done many things, including record music and speaking. I truly believe that nothing is impossible if you want it bad enough, but beyond that philosophy, no matter if remaining in a wheelchair, there is always room for happiness.
We have to dig deep to find our happy place, but it is always available. I am grateful for my life, and I am grateful for my stroke and aneurysms. The both have made me a better human Being, and for that I am eternally grateful. ~Alika
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