Sunday, October 21, 2012

Survivor Story- Donna’s Story

This week we have an interview with a stroke survivor, Donna, that Chuck Hofvander did. But first
 I thought you might like to see this 10 second video "Hello" from our chimes choir. Look at the bottom of the picture below and click on the little triangle thing that is below the red bar and to the left of the speaker symbol.

If you'd like to know more about them please click on this link-->   Chime Strokers Choir  and it will take you to the Chime Stroker web site for more info. 

Now to Donna's interview by Chuck Hofvander

Donna’s Story

Donna didn’t know much about Brian Attacks but she had a headache on December 27th. It was December 28, 2004 a day Kevin will never forget. Around eight o’clock in the morning one of Donna’s co-workers called because she was late for work, that wasn’t like Donna.

Kevin, Donna’s son, answered the phone and went to wake her. Kevin came into her bedroom and said “you’re late for work” and Donna said nothing.  Kevin said something but again there was no response. Donna had lost her ability to speak and she couldn’t move at all!

Kevin said “are you mad at me, I didn’t mean to come home late”. Kevin shook his mom and thought what’s going on. He called his dad and said there something wrong with mom. Kevin put the phone up to Donna’s ear but she couldn’t speak. Donna was screaming in her mind but the words didn’t come out. His dad said to call 911. Donna was 49 years old.

The ambulance came and took her to the hospital. Donna couldn’t speak so the emergency personal spoke to her ex-husband and son. They told them she had had a stroke.

She was in the hospital for 10 weeks but it was not all stroke related. Three weeks into the hospital stay they discovered a blood clot in her lung that delayed her therapy one week.  They then discovered a blood clot in her leg, another delay. During the stroke related therapy they worked on her speech, physical, and occupational recovery.  Then she went to out-patient therapy 5 days a week for three months.

It’s been eight years now since Donna’s stroke. She has aphasia, limited use of her right arm and she walks with a cane. She’s lost old friends. Before the stroke she had 70 people at her 50th birthday party and now she has about 10 close friends most of them had strokes. Donna said that a friend from before the stroke comes to see her once a month but Donna feels it is a burden to her.

She feels there is a bond between strokers, a bond that even though all strokes are different they are the same. Donna says there are things she shares with other stroke victims and not with people who have not had stroke.

About her life Donna now says it’s a balancing act between giving up and a determination to get on her life and about Stroke Camp she says although she went by herself it gave her hope.

Back to Kevin, he says that the stroke actually brought him closer to his Mom. He continues “if she hadn’t had the stroke he suspects that the relationship wouldn’t be as close”. He says he doesn’t take his Mom for granted anymore but now values every moment with her.

Even a stroke brings some good things if you let it.

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