VIP has proudly awarded a VIP Scholarship to Jeff, one of our most determined patients.
Jeff suffered a stroke about 3 years ago and works hard every single day. He is tough, and always has a positive attitude. We are thankful to have him at VIP and see the progress he makes everyday!
Jeff wrote his story for a reunion and it is inspiring! Read below:
On December 15 th 2013, life as I knew it, changed forever. It started as a normal enough day, once I got to work, I started to feel tired and sick. I thought I was coming down with the flu, right before the holidays no less. I grabbed my things, told my boss I was going home sick, and I'd be back in a few days. I then proceeded to drive 20 miles home on the freeway. To this day, I don't remember much of the drive.
Once I arrived home, a quick thinking family member realized the truth --- I was having a stroke. 911 was called, ems's arrived & I was taken to Grossmont hospital. After running a series of tests, I was admitted to the ICU. My prognosis was not good. I had lost everything, toes to nose, on my right side. I couldn't even swallow. After 7 days, I'd improved enough to be transferred to the neuro unit.
After 5 days, on Christmas Day, I was sent to inpatient rehab. That started 6 weeks of intense therapy, speech, PT, OT, etc. Finally, on February 7th, I was discharged home. In a wheel chair. Months later, I would learn that I actually had 4 bilateral strokes. The cause has never been determined, despite extensive testing and numerous doctor visits.
I started outpatient therapy a few days later. Three days a week, 3 hours a day. I continued to improve. I was able to trade the wheelchair for a cane and leg brace. On November 11th, 2014, I returned to work part time. I'm very lucky to have such a great employer. Fast forward, to today, I'm working about 20 hours a week and still in therapy. I'm blessed to be able to go to VIP Neuro rehab.
It would have been easy to give up and focus on what I'd lost. Instead, I used what I did have left to improve. Remarkably, my cognitive skills weren't damaged -- I couldn't speak, but I was texting away in the neuro unit. It's been a battle and the improvements have at time been slow in coming. Luckily, I'm rather stubborn. A cousin told me that you don't really miss things until they're gone. How true! Learning to function as a one handed lefty has been a real challenge. So has the near constant fatigue.
My outlook on life has changed dramatically. I'm more grateful than ever now. One day at a time, one step at a time.
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