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Joe R.


It was more than a headache...

At the age of 48 I thought I was too young to have something as serious as a stroke.  I was wrong

In November 2010, at the age of 48 I suffered a massive stroke. In the doctor's terms "Ischemic stroke caused by the dissection of an artery". My life as I had known it would not be the same. I had been feeling as healthy as I had in years. I had a passion for biking and four months prior to the stroke I had finished my first 100 mile bike tour and life was good. I was out of town on business when I suffered my stroke, at the time I thought it was just a bad headache that would not go away, needless to say it was more than just a headache.

The next day I suffered a Grand Mal seizure in the ICU and had emergency surgery to remove part of the skull that allowed room for my brain to swell. It was 6 days before the doctor's declared me to be out of the woods. After 7 weeks as an inpatient I was released from the hospital and continued many months of physical, speech and occupational therapy.

I have not yet returned to work and continue to work on getting stronger. One of my biggest fears was that I would not bike again. Due to the generosity of my friends/ coworkers I was able to get a bike specially suited for my needs. It was difficult at first but I have adapted with the help of my fellow bikers. The feeling of freedom it gives me is hard to describe. Although I still have physical, cognitive and visual deficits I have a wonderful support network of family and friends that help in so many ways. I consider myself to be lucky to be alive.


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