Text Size




Faces of Stroke - Logo 100px  transparent

Nikki W.

Caregivers & Family

Stroke: you never imagine how much one little word can change your life forever. That is exactly what happened to our family on May 18, 2010. My name is Nikki and my husband, Shane, suffered a massive stroke at age 29. It paralyzed the entire right side of his body and affected his ability to speak. Three days after suffering the stroke, when we thought the worst was over, he had a bleed in his brain that required emergency surgery. This type of surgery is not typically done, but due to his age the doctor said he would try. It was not the news you want hear when 26 weeks pregnant with your first child.

The doctor said Shane would likely never wake up after the surgery. But, he did, within a couple hours after surgery. However, we were not sure if he would know anyone. Each and every day, I was reminded of this doubt. I knew they were wrong when I asked Shane to tell Landon (his son) goodnight, and he reached over, rubbed my belly and smiled.

His stay in ICU lasted two weeks. In the meantime the doctors were trying to figure out where to send him next. They wanted a place that would provide the best opportunity to progress. He still had no movement in his right side–and at this point–had not spoken. The doctors and family decided Baylor in Dallas would be the best choice. He progressed very quickly once arriving, having movement in his right leg and the ability to say a few words.

But, it always seems when things are progressing forward that you are faced with a few steps backward. They found two blood clots in the right shoulder and elbow, which greatly limited his therapy on his arm. By the end of his inpatient stay at Baylor, he was able to walk short distances with the use of a cane and a brace, could speak very little, and had limited movement in his right shoulder. He was moved from inpatient to outpatient therapy at Baylor. Our son was born in August 2010 and he was able to be in the delivery room and cut the cord, which was one of his goals since the stroke. He was allowed one week off to return home and enjoy some time with Landon. He returned to Baylor for two more months in which he was more determined than ever. When each therapist asks him what his goals are, his answer is always the same "Landon". He continues to work hard each and every day to be able to talk to him, to change a diaper, and just to be able to pick him up from his crib. He walks now with only a device to stimulate his foot. He is able to drive himself. His speech is still very limited but he is able to get his point across.

This has not been an easy journey for our family. In a few short months, I went from wife to mother and caregiver. I hope someday to be able to educate others on the signs of a stroke and hopefully Shane's story will be able to motivate other stroke survivors to never quit fighting. We were continuously told by doctors what he would never be able to do. He has already done everything on that list.


All active news articles

Share by

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.

Printer Friendly Version

National Stroke Association

9707 E. Easter Lane, Suite B
Centennial, CO 80112

Stroke Help Line logo