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Lee S.


He was told that he would never walk, drive or be able to live without a caretaker. Through his dedication, will and perseverance, he proved everyone wrong! He is an inspiration to all. Lee suffered a major stroke in January 2004, when he was only 42 years old, caused by a staph infection that turned into endocarditis. He spent seven weeks in an intensive care unit and was then transferred to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. Lee was left with paralysis on the left side of his body. He had to relearn how to speak, feed himself, write and walk. It seemed that obstacles would always be thrown in his path, but he would always overcome them. Through his lifelong love for the game of hockey, physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and counseling, he has learned to manage his life relatively independently. Lee is a former hockey player, former hockey director for a roller hockey association, former USA hockey referee and coach. He is the father of two, ages 23 and 22. He lives in a one bedroom apartment on his own. He has a personal assistant to help him with various things and to challenge him at the gym. When Lee had his stroke, he weighed 300 pounds and was fully diabetic. Since then, he is no longer diabetic and weighs 218 pounds. Due to the stroke, his aortic valve ruptured and required open‐heart surgery, which he almost didn't survive. Lee has strong mental capabilities, a wonderful sense of humor and is quite witty. He is able to walk on the track, do the elliptical, treadmill and cross trainer. He can drive and do errands on his own. He even holds a job at the ice rink. He is motivated and works hard every day to improve his life. Even when he doesn't feel well, we go to the club so he can get his workout. So many people believed in him. A fundraiser was held to purchase him a medical device for his leg, which helps him with his mobility. He uses a flexing device to help his arm and hand movement. I have been his personal assistant since October 2009. In that short period of time, he has improved tremendously. He wakes up every day and instead of feeling sorry for himself, he is committed to improving his life. He is such a personal inspiration to me. Lee's drive and love of hockey keep him in the game of life.


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