Ernest W.

Photo of Ernest W.

I am … a Survivor.

September 23, 2011 is a date that I will never forget. I was hanging out with some of my friends for one of my close friends’ birthdays. From the point that I woke up that day I was having a bad headache and I took some Tylenol. Out of nowhere, while I was having a conversation with my friends I began to slur every word. Suddenly, from what I have been told, I passed out on the floor. Not knowing the reason, my friends woke me up and took me home, just figuring that maybe I needed to get some rest. My best friend stayed the night over because he wanted to make sure that I was okay. The next day, I woke up with a worse headache and everything on my right side was extremely weak. I felt like I was walking in a slant. My best friend had to leave because he had to head to a meeting, but he was going to call me later and see how I was doing. I couldn’t do anything. I tried to eat and as soon as picked up the plate with my right hand, I dropped everything. I slept the entire day. The next day was Sunday, September 25, 2011. That was supposed to be an important day for me. It was my birthday, but I was so out of it, I didn’t even know that it was my birthday. My mother called me, but I didn’t even talk to her, I just told her that I was going to call her back because I was having a terrible headache and I just wanted to sleep. 3 hours later, my mother called again and she asked me if I was feeling any better. I gave her the same response. My mother asked me if I wanted her to come over. At that time, I lived an hour away from my parents. I told her no, I just needed some sleep. She called me 5 minutes later and asked my again if I wanted her to pick me up and I asked her to take to the hospital. As I tried to remember the directions to get to the hospital, my memory was going away. We reached the hospital and I gave my dad my wallet to give my medical card to the office assistant woman. At that moment, I passed out again. I somehow remember being put into the ambulance to another hospital. That trip changed my life. I woke up in the hospital bed with tons of nurses around and my mom crying at my bed side. I saw my sister’s face, but I couldn’t remember her name. I began to cry as I asked my mom, “What happened to me”? The nurse asked me what my birthday was, I didn’t even know. The nurse told me “today is your birthday.” The nurse asked me if I knew the “Happy Birthday” song. I sat and tried to think and I truly didn’t know. The nurse asked me to do the alphabet. I couldn’t even get past ‘c’. I began to cry and the nurse told my mother and that I had a massive Stroke and that I was lucky to be alive because I was having a Stroke for almost 2 full days. The cells in my brain were basically burnt away and now I lost all of my comprehension skills. That means that everything that I learned in college from my Engineering coursework disappeared. I would never be the same again.

After 6 months of Speech therapy and a “never give up” mentality, I am 110% better than I was before. I am currently an Electrical Engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center, I am the Founder of Inspired By Inspirations, LLC to motivate and inspire those who are dealing with life’s obstacles, and I just got married 2 months ago to my beautiful wife Deanna. I am so blessed and thankful to be here and share my story to or for anyone who needs some positivity. I know that God watched over me through that tough time.