Kevin H.

Stroke of Life not Luck
Stroke of Life not Luck


Stroke of Life not Luck

I was a healthy athletic kid my whole life. On December 23rd, 2006 I collapsed. I was 14 years old. I had a stroke when my parents were out Christmas shopping. This is my story.

On a cold morning, in December in a suburb of Memphis, Tennessee, I was at the park with my girlfriend. We were running, because we both played soccer. It was my freshman year of high school, I was only 14. I didn't have a worry in the world. After the park, her parents dropped me off at my house. I knew my parents were out Christmas shopping, but I did not know what was about to happen next.

I enter my house and fall to the floor. I go unconscious, but randomly waking up for seconds. I remember waking up and trying to get to my feet, unsuccessfully because of my right side paralysis. I was on the floor for what seemed like days. My parents came home about two hours later. They noticed my soccer bag was in the sink. Not its normal place. My dad walks back to my room, finding me face down on the floor. I was such a jokester, he thought I was messing with him. However this time I wasn't. He nudged me, still no response. He finally said "Give me a coherent response or I'm taking you to the hospital." All I got out was "ah du du." My parents rushed me to the local hospital.

This is where my mom might have saved me from becoming paralyzed. She saw that I couldn't move my right side. My dad then ran his keys on the bottom of my right foot, no response. The doctor rushed for a shot that he then jabbed into my leg. I was then rushed to downtown Memphis to a children's hospital, where I was submitted to the ICU. Doctors asked me all kinds of questions. I could not tell them my parents names, how old I was, or where I went to school. However I could tell them the score of a soccer game I had watched a couple days earlier. I guess you can tell whats important in my life. The doctors ran test after test. EEG, EKG, Spinal tap, drug tests. Yes the doctor thought I was on drugs. That makes me mad when I think about it now. I would never risk that kind of stuff, soccer was too important to me. Finally a doctor, saw something on the CT scan. I had a stroke when I was 14.

I returned to school two weeks after the day I had my stroke. I was taking four honors classes. I started to fall way behind. I struggled. It was the toughest year of my life. I did not fall behind on the soccer field though. That is where I was comfortable. I came out of the hospital with minor short term memory problems and a slower right side. I was lucky, blessed, given a second chance. I knew this. I was not going to waste it. I earned a college soccer scholarship in 2010. All my hard work paid off. However when I got to college my memory, could not withstand studying. I would go blank. I returned back to Memphis making the mature decision to give up my dream. I'm on new meds now and coaching soccer. I could not be happier.

I have learned so much, in these last 7 years of my life. I know now to tell the people I love that I love them everyday, because you never know how many days you have left.

Thanks for reading.


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