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Jodi C.
Jodi C.
Survivor

Tracey E.
Tracey E.
Survivor

Lauren C.
Lauren C.
Survivor

Lori K.
Lori K.
Survivor

Liane W.
Liane W.
Survivor

Lisa O-H.

Lisa
Lisa

Survivor

The Stroke Made Me Stronger

When the paramedics came, they asked me to name the president of the United States. I said, "Ford. No. Reagan. No. Bush."

It was 1991. George H. W. Bush was president and I was a 22-year-old graduate student studying journalism at the University of Southern California. I'd just had a stroke.

I was born with a weak blood vessel in my brain, an arteriovenous malformation. When the vessel burst, the symptoms were immediate: the inability to move my right leg, a pounding headache at the base of my skull and then paralysis on the right side of my body. I also had difficulty speaking and recalling my words. How could I pursue journalism when I couldn't even name a vegetable?

Over the next several months, however, I worked hard. I learned how to walk and talk again, as well as perform basic tasks for myself. I graduated from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane. I went back to school with a cane and a leg brace and got my master's degree. I became a writer.

I'm healthy and strong now. There is no physical evidence of what I've been through. I'm blessed with a wonderful husband and daughter. I'm not sorry the stroke happened. It made me stronger. If I can overcome that, I can overcome anything.

 

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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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