I gave up. Life got the best of me. I’m not sure people understand what can happen to you when you suffer a serious stroke. I lost control of my muscles and bodily functions. I couldn’t talk, and parts of my memory were gone. Lying in the hospital bed, the first time I saw my own son, I didn’t recognize him. And when I finally did realize who he was, I thought: what good am I to him? I’m just going to be a burden on him his entire life.
I came to Brooklyn Center convinced that I was on the road to nowhere. But the staff there knew better. They pushed all the right buttons.
Don’t you want to run with your son again? Play catch with him?
That hit home. They convinced me that I’d never know what I was capable of until I tried. It wasn’t easy—physical therapy six days a week, as well as speech therapy and occupational therapy—but it was working.
It turned out that Brooklyn Center wasn’t the road to nowhere. It was the road to recovery. And it wasn’t the end of the line, it was the beginning of a new one. When I left the hospital, the doctors said I might walk in three to five years…maybe. I’ve spent a year at Brooklyn Center, and I’m being discharged—walking out of here. First thing I’m going to do is put on a glove and play catch with my son.