The presenters at Stroke Education and Support Group are extremely helpful, but I learn the most from each of the survivors, and to them I dedicate this story.
MARK MILLER, 55, had two strokes. At first he couldn’t move or speak. After rehab at McLaren and many support group meetings, he now plays golf and bowled the high game at our annual bowlathon. Now we can’t shut him up. (I don’t mean that in a bad way, Mark.) He has been a true inspiration.
FRANK BELL, 62, suffered a more serious stroke where he woke up at McLaren nine days after surgery. His wife, Mabel, has been his lifesaving caregiver. Bell is now a spokesman for McLaren’s Adaptive Golf Program and a pretty good golfer, so he says.
MIKE OWENS, 71, had his stroke while on vacation in Sedona, Arizona. After treatment at a Phoenix hospital, he returned home and joined the support group.
He says that the group is “encouraging while seeing people getting help that we can all benefit from.” He enjoys golf and Dr. Sunita Tummala’s presentations.
ALICIA ELLIS is our quiet inspiration. A Master Gardener, she noticed her slurred speech and arm weakness and had rehab at McLaren. She has increased her knowledge about strokes and enjoys the discussions, especially with Tummala.
DOUG PEARSON had a stroke at age 65 when he couldn’t talk. After rehab at McLaren, he joined the support group, where he has been exposed to resources and support from other survivors and caregivers. He especially enjoyed the music therapy, where we heard him singing, even with his difficulty in speaking. His wife, Gail, is a true inspiration in her perseverance and the way she cares for him.
ROBERT WEINERT, 51, is a new member. Suffering a stroke on his way to work, he didn’t know if he was coming or going. Luckily a law enforcement officer recognized his problems and helped him get to McLaren for treatment.
JERRY KNICKERBOCKER found his wife, ARLENE, on the kitchen floor after she had a stroke. After her treatment at McLaren, they joined the group and enjoy the care and support from everyone.
DAVIS MOORE, 72, had his stroke over 12 years ago, noticing weakness in his hand, arm and leg. As a retired teacher, he welcomes having joined the support group as it has helped him in all facets of life. Moore finds all topics interesting but enjoys interacting with Tummala most.
GARY MCGOWAN is a newcomer, having recognized numbness and weakness on his left side and slurred speech. He enjoys other survivor stories, information and Tummala’s presentations at the group.
DAN KAH, 77, has had two strokes where he couldn’t move or speak. As a retired Flint teacher (as I am), he inspires me because we know that we are not alone in this. His wife, Sherl, is a model caregiver, having retired from teaching to be a full-time caregiver to him. They enjoy the group and sharing similar concerns.
DALE DARON noticed the confusion his wife, MILDRED, was experiencing. After her stroke treatment and therapy at McLaren, they joined the group, where they have improved their awareness in several areas of stroke. They add liveliness to our many discussions.
If you know someone who would benefit from joining the group as a survivor or caregiver, please have him or her contact Stites at McLaren Flint Rehabilitation Department at 810-342-5560 or 401 S. Ballenger Hwy. The group is a free, no-questions-asked service. Stroke survivors and caregivers can laugh, cry and share, as well as learn new information about the complicated and often unknown issues involving stroke.