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Faces of Stroke Ambassador: Jim

Jim Leong, 50, became a stroke survivor a year ago. Having a stroke was a shock to him, as he had no known risk factors associated with stroke. He thought he was living a healthy lifestyle, including being conscious of what he ate and working out four days a week.

Jim’s stroke was not the first time his family had been touched by stroke. His mother-in-law suffered a stroke in 2003 and the family was all too familiar with the signs of stroke and with post-stroke recovery.

The family’s prior experience with stroke was lucky for Jim—he and his wife, Jackie, suspected immediately that Jim had had a stroke. Their suspicions were confirmed a few days later by a neurologist. Jim applied for short-term disability and got on with his recovery.

Jim’s recovery plan included physical therapy, repeating the therapy exercises at home, joining a support group, listening to music, playing brain games on the computer, stimulating the weaker side of his body by using it more and most of all, changing his diet with the support of his family. The family’s new diet includes more vegetables, fish and salads. To inspire other stroke survivors, Jim posted videos on YouTube tracking his recovery progress.

Jim believes the key to his success was making lifestyle changes as a family. Jackie has been very supportive and health and fitness has become a priority for both of them. Jim has benefited by losing weight and his cholesterol is down. As a bonus, Jim and Jackie’s lifestyle and nutrition changes have also brought them closer together.

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