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Jodi C.
Jodi C.
Survivor

Tracey E.
Tracey E.
Survivor

Shannon A.
Shannon A.
Family

Bob B.
Bob B.
Survivor

Owen R.
Owen R.
Survivor

Keith M.


Survivor

Coming Forward - A Story of Hope

To give inspiration is to give life, because life is not just the beating heart. Paralyzed and abandoned by the very doctors who shook my hand only hours before a medical error, left me with no option. With devastating changes and adversity that statistically could not be conquered. This is a vast reminder of how special we all are as individuals. This book will evoke the tension as a man continues on when there's nothing but hope to hold on to. Experience the perseverance demonstrated when a man breaks down the mental and physical barriers that stand before him. You'll feel the pain as a wife joins her husband as they carry the hardship of a lifetime on their shoulders, and a mother as she watches a son fight yet another round of obscure pain and frustration.

Although hounded by constant depression, this man started every day with a welcome smile, a smile that became excessively contagious to everyone around. While facing the fear of the unknown, he defiantly never gave up as he boldly fought to regain his independence. Experience the joy and happiness of becoming a winner in every sense of the word.

In 2006, I was led to believe I had suffered a small stroke located in a bad part of my brain, and my family and I reluctantly accepted the hand I was dealt. In a state of muddled chaos, word of a tainted drug came to pass as heparin. Could this drug that allegedly originated in China have been in circulation in the United States at that time? Could this medication, covered up by other aggressive medications, be what caused my paralysis? Could it be possible the very aware doctors and staff worked in such brilliant harmony to hide between the legal lines of injustice, while blatantly displaying a total disregard for human life?

While fighting a frustrating battle to uncover this injustice, I also took on the almost impossible challenge of regaining my independence. It would be a war that was against all odds. However, being almost completely paralyzed and still carrying with me an array of other physical difficulties such as severe scoliosis to name just one, still I was able to win that war.

There's almost an unbearable pain one suffers when a soul is broken. The disappointment in your fellow man, questioning authority when you've been taught not to, just as a child would look in puzzled wonderment if his or her Teddy bear were to just disappear or the extreme horror of a parent losing a child. I stood in grim defiance of pain, a pain that some would call a weakness. The pain of having my spirit ripped from within, leaving me to wonder in disbelief. With only a broken body to search for hope and a clouded mind to look for inspiration, I was able to spark a spirit from within and find hope through others.

This book is about overcoming adversity. Looking complexity straight in the eyes and hearing the words you can. Facing obscurity dead on and hearing the words never give up. These are just words, but take these words into your heart and into your soul and let them become your spirit. This is when the words, I can't, will never recognize you again. You will find that the human spirit, the spirit that lives in all of us, is stronger than anything on this earth. One of the reasons I'm here today to tell you my story is because I took the words I can and never give up and made them a part of me a long time ago. As a fifty-three- year-young freelance comedy writer, I finally found out a few short years ago that if you inject adversity with humor you'll get a laugh every time.

Paralyzed and abandoned by the very doctors who smiled and shook my hand just hours before a medical error left me with no option. Devastating changes and adversity that statistically could not be conquered. There was a choice to be made and I chose to win.

This is not only a story of what went wrong with a corrupt medical community and how their spirit was compromised by fear and greed but rather one mans hope, given his god given ability to persevere and win; spiritually and humanly to overcome. With his drive and determination to conquer fear, pain and darkness bringing forth a legacy for his children and grandchildren, of willingness to move forward and achieve their dreams.

Coming Forward is a strong narrative about overcoming adversity. Looking complexity straight in the eye and hearing the words "you can." Facing obscurity dead on and hearing the words "never give up." Take these words with you and the words "I can't," will never recognize you again.

A comedy-writing teacher of mine once told me that humor could be found in any situation however, to find the funny you just have to open the right door. I've become quite aware that with the aim of just a simple smile, one can open most any door and surprisingly enough, there are so many times when tears and laughter are just naturally on opposite sides of the moment.

Being blessed with the maturity to shy away from revenge through forgiveness, I was able to overcome my adversity and win the 2007 Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation's Triumph of the Human Spirit award. Only to continue on and live my not-so impossible dream of walking my daughter down the aisle on her wedding day.

My story is true and my journey is triumphant. The people you'll meet are some of the most incredible, caring, giving people in the world and they are right here in our own backyard.

However, I inevitably had to travel to a place and time I had no idea existed. This place was a medical center where I experienced total disappointment in my fellow man. There I found horror, pain, and deception. It was a living nightmare, a nightmare and adversity that were overcome through love, devotion, believing in myself, and rising above the pain and deception to become a winner.

This book is also about regaining normalcy, a normalcy that was the consistency of everyday living something so simple that is your world and nothing will stand in the way of your return.

Finally, after eight days of unprofessional care and neglect, I was moved to The Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, where they opened the door to recovery. After three years of retraining my body and mind for normalcy, I'd surpassed all goals and have presented just cause to rewrite many statistics.

Come join our unintentional journey, in my puzzling game of bitter- sweet clemency. As we battle the wicked with wizardry and persevere with patience, on a field of hope where losing is never an option and winning is only a play away.

 

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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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