Robert C.


Never surrender

My journey back to life

My name is Robert Coughlin, and I am a young stroke survivor. My stroke occurred during surgery to repair damage to my heart sustained in a motor vehicle accident in 1989. I incurred a right CVA with left hemi paresis. I was twenty-two years old at the time of my accident. I was a full-time student, part-time United Parcel Service supervisor, and bodybuilder. My car accident and stroke changed my life and my understanding of stroke. For example, following my stroke, I was told that I should change my college major from mathematics to medicine or physical therapy because I was not going to be able to do math again. While I was hospitalized, I worked with my doctors and my therapist to create an effective program for my recovery. I visited patients in my rehabilitation facility to encourage and motivate them while I worked tirelessly to overcome my physical, neurological and emotional deficits.

I have gone on to not only complete a bachelor's degree in mathematics, but also earn master's degrees in secondary mathematics education and educational technology. I am married and have a four year old son and live in a small ranch in Granby, CT. I have adapted to the modification of many daily activities and work as an adjunct mathematics professor at four local colleges. I am fully independent, motivated, focused, and determined to achieve whatever I can.

My stroke has left me with permanent limited use of my left hand and it affects my ability to walk. Despite these physical limitations, I travel hundreds of miles every week educating college students in the art of problem solving using the tools of mathematics.


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