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Renee W.


A New Apreciation For Life

After surviving a stroke, once thinking my life was over, only to find out, it had just began

May 3rd, 1994.... For the third day I awoke with a horrible headache pounding the right side of my brain. My day went as usual starting out with my morning work out at the gym and then to work. Towards the end of the day, the pain exploded to a higher level and then a sudden relief.... All within a few seconds (STROKE). I looked in the mirror and noticed my face fall. Then I fell from disorientation, weakness and loss of muscle tone on my whole left side. Some one called 9-1-1. The paramedics seemed perplexed, I assume, because of my age, 27. My blood pressure was 162/116; heart rate 83.

At the trauma center in Las Vegas, a neurologist determined that I'd had a massive stroke. My survival was 50/50 due to brain swelling from the surrounding blood around my brain.

When I awoke on Mothers Day, I was downgraded from CCU to ICU to a hospital stay then to a rehab hospital... 2 ? months in all. I had a breakthrough on my last day at the rehab hospital after months of exercise, and electrical stimuli, my quadriceps began to move by my own will despite what doctors had predicted. My facial muscles also came back with aide of electrical stimuli (E-stem). This machine sends messages from the brain to the muscle to help the muscle remember how to work. With the help of my therapists, I exercised morning, noon, and evening. The movement in my leg returned, with aide of a cane and ankle brace, I said goodbye to my wheelchair, in 2000, I had a new surgical procedure done to fuse my ankle and foot bones. I said goodbye to my cane and foot brace.

May 3rd, 1997....Three years to the day after my stroke, I married Kevin, my soul mate. He is responsible for the return of my self esteem. I kept three important goals I set for myself all those years ago in the hospital.

1) walk again
2) Get married
3) Write a book on my experience to help others

My book "My Stroke.... A will to recover" was published in 2007 in hopes of warning young women of the dangers of birth control pills and stroke.

Because of my stroke I have gained a new sense of self and a new appreciation for faith, hope, and life...


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