BJ has always been a driven person to achieve her goals.She started out as a nurse working in hospitals, doctor’s offices, public health clinics, and HMO’s.She later moved into administration and concentrated on total quality management for hospitals.While working full time and extensively traveling, she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees.BJ later became a hospital consultant who traveled 100% of the time.Basically, she departed on trips to her hospitals on Sunday night or Monday morning and then returned Friday night or Saturday morning.
On Aug. 26, 2003, I was laid off from my position as VP of Sales at a manufacturing company.BJ returned home immediately that week.That Friday, Aug. 29, BJ had gotten up early to go to our home office and start doing emails and travel plans.When she stepped out of the bathroom, she looked at me and fell forward onto the bed.My first reaction was surprise.I thought she was joking.When she could not move a muscle (other than blinking of her eyes) and could not utter a sound, I dialed 911.The paramedics got her to the hospital quickly where they immediately started treatment.
She then spent time in the emergency ward, ICU, neurological ward, and the inpatient rehab unit over the next few months.The challenges were numerous with communication being the most frustrating.The stroke affected her speech center which also affects your ability to read or write.Also, the severe paralysis made sitting up, eating, and other normal functions extremely difficult.
The long journey through speech, occupational, and physical therapy has resulted in her being able to walk, communicate, read and write, and drive a car!
As part of our efforts to help others in this situation, we have developed this web site for stroke survivors, their caregivers, and their families to help them readily find the information most important to them. The many blessings we are so grateful for include:
I took a job in Atlanta where the medical care is far superior to the small town we came from.
We converted to her health insurance before the stroke.
She was at home when the stroke occurred.Otherwise, she would have been in a hotel and may not have been discovered before it was too late.
I was at home to call for emergency help.
She got to the hospital during the short window of opportunity available to take the special TPA “clot busting” drug which helped reduce the effects of her severe stroke.
BJ kept her personality and her thinking ability despite the severity of the stroke.
A phenomenal group of specialists who not only did their job but also sincerely cared for BJ to this day.
I was not working so I was able to spend unlimited time with BJ both in the hospital and when she came home.
BJ’s employer had provided a great disability insurance allowing us to survive financially and freeing me up to support her.
We have become closer than ever before and are enjoying life far more than we thought possible during the hectic “normal” days before the stroke.