© 2016 by Debra Meyerson

SURVIVOR STORIES

In 2010 at the age of 45 I had the first of two strokes, both caused by a clot. Prior to my strokes I lived life at a hectic pace, being self-employed and a mother of one. I enjoyed my hobbies, riding, swimming, walking, yoga and skiing, I was fit and healthy. I didn't put on weight; I was never unwell. Until my first stroke.

The children and youth that Laurel Fontaine volunteers with at her North Attleboro church adore her. And who wouldn’t? She’s got a lot to say, she has a beautiful smile and a great sense of humor, and she’s passionate about giving back.

It’s been a long road for Laurel. If you didn’t know her history, you’d never guess that eight years ago, when she was just 11 years old, Laurel suffered a massive stroke that destroyed most of the left side of her brain.

Within minutes that Memorial Day weekend, a m...

On July 1st, 2013, I had just stepped off the plane in Orlando for a vacation with my fiancée when I got a phone call. It was from St. Louis, and I was told that my son had been murdered. My fiancée and I got on the plane right away—the longest plane ride of my life—to go back home. It was devastating.

Fast forward to July 5th, just a few days later. I got up that morning to use the bathroom, and my body started feeling funny. My fiancée, who was home by chance, called the ambulance, and they came...

(Jim’s story has been written by his wife, Diane)

Healthy living was my husband's passion. He was a devoted runner and veteran of 32 marathons. As Fitness Program Manager for his division of the Air National Guard, he oversaw the physical fitness training of more than 1,600 soldiers. He retired from the military in 2009, after more than 40 years of service.  No one could have predicted that, on Sept. 16, 2010, after less than a year of retirement, he would suffer a debilitating brainstem stroke....

The following is excerpted from Paul David Wilson’s article, “Lost and Found.”

You can read the full article here: https://www.facebook.com/notes/paul-david-wilson/lost-and-found-an-article-about-living-with-aphasia/10150413987590035/ 

On Friday, January 1, 1999, New Years Day, I have a stroke. In the hospital, a friend talks to me.  I want to respond but I cannot communicate.  I do not know how.  It is the first glance of years to come.

One of the nurses hands the release forms to me, and...

Before my stroke, I was very athletic. I played all kinds of sports, including basketball, soccer, football, softball, golf, and curling. I was also very adventurous. I loved to travel, visiting places as far away as Ireland and Italy and close to home as Monterey and Lake Tahoe.

Before my stroke, my friends and family knew me for my sense of humor. One time, when one of my colleagues stepped away from her cubicle, I grabbed her car keys and moved her car to a different part of the parking lot. My...

I suffered it when I was 29 years old. By the time they identified it being a TBI there wasn't much they could do in forms of any of the medications that they were able to do. It was 2003, so I was deeply immersed in the dot com culture, and dot com, that very high paced, high-pressure environment. I was working 23 hour days basically.

In 2003 I suffered my stroke, and in 2005 I lost my first son. We were living in a town home in Santa Clara, and he actually had an accident and took a plunge out of...

On July 17, 1997, at the age of 37, I suffered a massive hemorrhage that resulted in a paralyzing stroke. At the time, I was at work, where I was a software support manager. When the hemorrhage occurred, it was like a volcanic eruption in my head. I couldn’t sit, stand, lie down—I could only pace. I had the Administrative Assistant drive me to a local hospital. Now, I tell everyone, if something isn’t right, call 911. Ambulances get first priority over ‘walk-ins’. I didn’t know it at the time, but...

I started an own company, environmental engineering, Robco has been engaged by a veritable “who's who" of Chicago business and industry, for 10 years. And, then I take my company for another 10 years on the road. I have investigated urban sites in 22 states that have been contaminated. The contaminated substances were from oils and PCBs, to chromium and other metals.

I was nominated to serve on the panel (ACRP Project 02-02) of the Transportation Research Board of the National Academies, in Washing...

Headaches began really tormenting me in the summer of 2008.  They would come on suddenly as if I was being hit in the back of the neck with a 2x4 was the best way I could describe it.  They would come and go.  I went to multiple doctors trying to figure out the cause.

Fast forward to the month of August 2016 and the headaches were becoming extreme again.   No such luck with mainstream medical again either.  I had dinner with a friend Friday night and she said if I wasn’t better by Monday...

Prior to my two strokes in October 2014, I had suffered Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in the late 1970’s and relapsed in the early 1980’s.  After remission I had odd side effects from the Chemotherapy and Radiation therapy, but generally I had a healthy life and loved going on long walks for exercise.  I worked in Telecommunications after graduating from High School and had ambitions to be a Team Leader.

On the 9th of October I suffered an Ischemic stroke at the Cerebellum....

My life as an ex UK Detective Inspector of 25 years, and my current role as a Private Investigator in Australia seemed far away after my stroke on 15 April 2013. I had been gardening, overheated, and drank insufficient water. I was throwing up and my stroke physician said the movement of my head into the toilet caused a dissection in my basilar artery in the back of my neck. Blood burst through then stopped and I collapsed! The rest is history. 

My life changed. I thought I could 'beat' my stroke....

I had my stroke on November 16, 2016. That whole day I didn’t feel well and had a type of headache that I had not had before. That night, around 7pm, my husband and I were just finishing dinner and I went upstairs. I still did not feel well and when I went to lie down, I immediately knew something was wrong. I called out for my husband, Michael, and by the time he got there I had slid down to the floor and was having a stroke. The next thing I knew EMS was putting me in the ambulance and taking me...

I am a 32 year old nurse (Service Line Education Coordinator). While teaching new interns about stroke suffered a SAH (subarachnoid hemorrhage) – NOT joking. Went to local ER and was transferred to the SAH wing at Emory shortly after for 11 days in the Neuro ICU.

I am extremely blessed and lucky to be alive with minimal deficits. The only deficits I have experienced is neuro fatigue, fatigue, vision changes. I am back at work and I am still working as Service Line Education Coordinator for Oncology...

Living with a jumbled brain.

I was in a car accident, which really was a case of "wrong place, wrong time". As I slowed for queuing traffic ahead, a bird of prey called a Buzzard smashed into the windscreen of the truck behind me. The driver couldn't see a thing and drove into the back of me, forcing my car to hit the crash barrier. The London Air Ambulance was called and rushed me to hospital, where I remained for 10 days.

I was 32 when my TBI happened, although I didn't understand that was what it...

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This book is about more than my own journey through stroke recovery. Share your story below to join our growing body of stories from our community.
 

Anything shared here will come only to me.  We will not post your story, or use anything from it for the book, without your explicit permission.  But we hope you will help further broaden our understanding of survivor experiences, and strengthen our growing community. Thank you.

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Meet Laurel, the inspired stroke survivor

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