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Justin S.


Justin Shields is a triathlete. On March 26, 2008, he woke up without feeling or movement on his right side. After trying to walk, returning to bed assuming he had slept wrong causing his lack of sensation and function, he contacted his brother who immediately notified EMS. Justin spent the next five weeks adjusting to and rehabilitating a left hemisphere stroke that resulted from a left internal carotid artery dissection and occlusion. Initially, his right side was flaccid and he was expressively aphasic. He was not an intervention candidate because his last known normal time was 11 p.m. the previous night. 

Justin is the most amazing stroke survivor I have ever known. He has pushed himself to recover with a positive attitude and vengeance that surpasses hard work and determination. At 2 1/2 years post stroke, Justin is back racing his bicycle and swimming with the goal of running again soon. He works full time, leads a community stroke support group and is a brain injury board member. Whenever we have a stroke patient who needs a little encouragement, all I have to do is call Justin and he finds time in his busy schedule to share his struggles and give hope to a fellow survivor who needs a boost. I am totally blessed to be Justin's friend and to journey with him and his family through his continuing recovery.


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