Stroke at Age 33
During a dream vacation to sunny Jamaica, Steven Hill suffered a sagital sinus clot and massive left-sided brain hemorrhage. Surviving all odds, he is coming up on his 2-year anniversary and is an inspiration to us all.
At age 33, during a dream vacation to sunny Jamaica, Steven suffered a seizure on the final day of the trip. Not knowing what caused it, they took him to a local hospital. After several tests (they couldn't do a CT scan because they did not have the machine) they released him. He stood up and had another seizure and stroke at that time. Rushed to a private hospital in Montego Bay, it was quickly determined he had suffered a massive left-sided hemorrhage. We were told to get back to the states immediately. A long 16 hours after the initial seizure we were flown to Aventura Florida. The doctors, upon our arrival, could not believe he was still alive.
Enduring a hemi-crainiotomy and several other procedures over the next week, he hung on. He was sedated and intubated. He slowly came around but did not know who we were or who he was. His vitals improved and after four long weeks we were finally flown back to our home in Boston, Massachusetts.
Steven went to Spaulding Rehabilitation hospital one month after his stroke. He had to learn to walk, talk and gain the use of his hand. After a month and half of intensive rehab, along with several health set backs (several DVT's in his leg), he was released on August 12 to go home. All he could communicate was a thumbs up and thumbs down, along with a few phrases. He had a visiting nursing association coming to the house for PT, OT and speech therapy while he regained strength.
Six months after his stroke, he finally had surgery to replace his skull cap. He then went to a satellite facility of Spaulding to continue rehab. He has graduated from PT, and no longer continues OT. He still attends for three sessions a week of speech therapy. He has not given up once in the 2 years since his stroke and I have never seen so much will to get better. Steven is featured as a Spaulding stroke survivor and, together, we do speeches telling his story and spreading stroke awareness.
We have a stroke foundation that fundraises on Steven's behalf. Eventually we will be able to provide funding to other young stroke survivors as well as continue to educate. Steven will be attending the University of Michigan this coming June for a one month intensive speech/cognitive program. We hope this will give him the final tools to be able to resume much of his old life. Although he cannot use his right hand, he manages and he never complains. He is an inspiration to us all and when someone says miracles can happen, I truly know they can.
Tanya L. Hill, wife