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Jodi C.
Jodi C.
Survivor

Tracey E.
Tracey E.
Survivor

Bob B.
Bob B.
Survivor

Owen R.
Owen R.
Survivor

Kyle R.
Kyle R.
Survivor

Kathy L.

Kathy
Kathy

Survivor

John Kawie - My Hero

John Kawie's determination and spirit helped me overcome the adversities of my stroke.

After my stroke in February 2006, I started doing some research on stroke and survivors of stroke. I came across a name John Kawie (an author who wrote Brain Freeze, a story about his life as a comedian overcoming stroke) and read a little about this man. He seemed very interesting and had overcome his struggles with therapy and went on to start working again. At the time, I had just started therapy for my stroke and anyone that has gone through this gruesome time knows "It ain't easy".

I got so much inspiration from reading about John that I had to email him and tell him that if he could do it, so could I. I never once thought that I would hear back from this gentleman, but I received an email that told me I could do anything I put my mind (or that part of my mind that still worked) to do.

This is how my stroke happened: I was at my desk typing on a Friday afternoon when I started feeling a little funny. All of a sudden, I did not have the use of my right side and I started talking funny. My co-workers took me to the hospital ER where my husband met us. My blood pressure was unreal (200 something over 100 something), I could not walk without help, could not talk right, and could not touch my finger to my nose. The ER doctor said I had carpel tunnel syndrome and sent me home. I still was not feeling well the next morning so my husband took me to my doctor who said I had had a stroke. The stroke was a bleeding stroke above my left ear causing me to have paralysis on my right side.

I started therapy within the week and was able to walk and talk but not very well. My doctor thought it would be a good idea to go back to work so after two weeks I was back (part-time) at my job as an administrative assistant with an engineering firm. I was also going to speech, physical and occupational therapy three times a week. Looking back on it, I don't know how I did it. My family and therapists were great. My family got me where I needed to go and my therapists made me learn all over again.

To make a long story short, I quit my job last year at the engineering firm after 32+ years and went to work at the State Supported Living Center as a Rehab Therapist Tech. I love my job helping our individuals who are mentally retarded and physically challenged. When I emailed John of my change in occupation, he could not believe it, but he said "Kathy, you are my hero." God had given me a second chance and with his help you can see that John and I have overcome a great deal.

 

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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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Faces of Stroke

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