At age 56, and having just completed a one half marathon walk to raise money for a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Christine Labyk had a stroke. She was at home alone preparing for her after-retirement dream job in real estate sales when she fell to the floor. Unable to move, she said she laid there waiting to die. Being a nurse practitioner for 28 years, she understood what was happening to her. Soon, she realized that she could make it to the telephone. She dialed 9-1-1 and said the words "stroke, door open."
Chris arrived at the hospital without her cell phone or the ability to tell them who to call. A resourceful physician saw her work ID and knew a physician who was her co-worker. The physician was then able to make contact with Chris' family. She was transported to St. Louis, where she began her long journey toward recovery and rehabilitation.
I have always admired Chris for her strength and courage, but nothing has convinced me as much as watching her recover from the devastation of a stroke. With a strong will and the determination to be able to travel and tell a good story again, Chris has exceeded all the specialist's expectations and three and a half years later she continues to improve.
Please consider my dear friend, Christine Labyk, for the 2011 Faces of Stroke Campaign. She has the ability to find the best in every situation and is a role model for everyone who knows her.