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Margi T.


On September 8, 2010, Margi Thompson, a healthy 61-year-old athlete, decided to take a nap before going out on her paddleboard for a 3 ½ mile ride in Alamitos Bay, Calif. Larry, her husband, came home and waited for her to awaken prior to going out on the bay. She was still sleeping after several hours. He checked on her, yet did not see signs of a problem. He checked on her again and decided it was time for her to get up and head out or she would miss her ride for the day. She had her stoke while asleep. Larry says, “We are BLESSED! I do not believe she would have survived if she had a stroke while paddleboarding.

Margi was rushed, in CRITICAL condition, to Long Beach Memorial Hospital. She spent 35 days in acute and inpatient rehab units. When she was released from Memorial, she was able to walk up seven steps to the front door of our home with no assistance. Bars were installed for balance. Following her release, she spent more than four months at Memorial Transition Rehab Services where she received EXCEPTIONAL CARE. At this time, Larry was her full time caregiver. He took care of 95% of her needs. Sixteen months later, Margi is 95% independent! Larry drives, preps meals, vacuums and does laundry (equipment in garage).

Thanks to the phenomenal therapy and doctor’s care in the Memorial Hospital rehab program, Margi has made a remarkable recovery! Some examples of Margi’s accomplishments since the stroke: 

  • Able to get in our bed on her own
  • Puts on her custom arm and leg braces
  • Dresses on our own
  • Showers without assistance
  • Feeds herself 
  • Responsible for organizing and taking all meds
  • Clears table following meals
  • Prepares her own snacks 
  • Travels alone by air (Changes planes without difficulty) 
  • Weather permitting, friends and neighbors take her kayaking and assist her while standing on her board close to shore.
  • Walks at least three to five miles each week
  • Attends six one hour therapy sessions each week
  • Able to COMMUNICATE well and read out loud with minimum pause
  • Continues her Bible study with ladies from church
  • Gives short speeches upon request
  • Continues to attend support groups such as B.R.A.I.N in Long Beach
  • Many other accomplishments pop up each day

Larry says, “Margi is an achiever!” Following the stroke and support from family, we set goals and outlined our plan for speedy recovery:

Get Margi back on paddleboard.

Continue therapy at least six times per week.

Keep positive attitude.

Work as a team.

Strive to exceed expectations.

Find best assistance when needed.

Do exercise / homework each day.

Praise God for strength and guidance.


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Display of the Faces of Stroke stories does not imply National Stroke Association's endorsement of any product, treatment, service or entity. National Stroke Association strongly recommends that people ask a healthcare professional about diagnosis and treatment questions before using any product, treatment or service. The views expressed through the stories reflect those of the authors and do not reflect the opinion of National Stroke Association.

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