On June 3, 2005, I had a seizure, which was followed by three strokes three days later. The doctors wanted to keep me in a coma to stop my brain from further swelling up.
After I woke up, my entire right hand side of my body was paralyzed. The brain affected my math skills, as well as my speech. I continue to have aphasia, (and probably still will, in some degree), but I have made great strides in the eight years since my strokes.
My physical body recovered rather quickly. I was released from the hospital just seven weeks later. In a few weeks, I was exercising with my right leg and arm. In 2006, I was officially given 100% status in my disability case, because of my aphasia and verbal processing skills. The last job I had before my strokes occurred was Director, Planned Giving at St. Jude Hospital, (in Fullerton, California), so talking was an important part of my daily activity.
About 2 years ago, I saw a piece on Bill Walters on 60 Minutes. In his segment he mentioned Opportunity Village in Las Vegas. His son was a client over there. I remembered that I would like to volunteer there, if I ever got the chance, because that’s my story, too. I’m disabled, but still want to contribute to a worthy cause, like Opportunity Village.
Opportunity Village is great. I work in the Fundraising office, and it’s always a fun, but, productive time over there. You never know what you will be doing – from framing pictures one day to entering data in a PC! I’m happy to be alive and volunteering at Opportunity Village!