John’s Story

“I had my stroke June 5, 2016. I was standing in the living room and I fell down. I was not doing anything. The doctor who operated on me said because I have balance control the stroke happened before I fell. It wasn’t anything that I did.” 

What challenge(s) did you face? 

“After the stroke I was taken by ambulance to Seven Oaks Hospital, I understand my rain was slightly exposed and had some damage which caused me to lose my driver license immediately because of losing my eye site. 

Further instances were my memory and I couldn’t walk at all. I was in the hospital until July 30, 2016 because of the stroke. 

With the first stroke it broke my left hip bone. First I was told by two doctor I would never walk again and that through very intense physical therapy at the Seven Oaks hospital they hoped I would walk from the table to the sink in the house and the rest of the time be using a walker. 

My second hip broke when I rolled out of bed…..I was having a good day and stood in front of the bed because I was happy and fell back…..but rolled in between the bed and the dresser and broke my hip. That happened September 26, 2016. 

At Concordia where I went with the second break, they just put me in a wheelchair and said that I was too high a risk to walk and I would always be in a wheelchair. I was there until October 27, 2016 and then I went to 7 Oaks for special therapy. I figure in total I was 14 months in a wheelchair and spent a long time in physiotherapy. 

I just made up my mind I am never going to walk again if I am just sitting in a wheelchair. And that (walking) started because of Shaw Cable*. Now I only use the wheelchair at night in case I misstep and I walk with a walker.” 

* Interesting vignette in and of itself. 

What specific programs do you access at the Stroke Recovery Association of Manitoba?) 

 “I think it was Seven Oaks who told me about SAM. I come for the IPad class and have trouble reading the print so the print needs to be made bigger. JiIlia tells it to me and writes it out and by the time I get home I have forgotten. 

I’ve done exercises here. 

Here the door is wide open and everyone says “hi”, “what’s your name”. Much the same as at Concordia. We (Mr. and Mrs. Vis) were at the Sidewalk Sale, Resi (Mrs. Vis) baked and made flower arrangements for the sale.” 

How has your life changed for the better as a result of participating in a program? 

“The people you meet become very good acquaintances, you share, you can’t help but learn things from the other people that automatically apply in your case. I am personally a very optimistic person and if I see some works for other people then I believe I should give it a chance. 

I found Jillia very helpful, I talked to a gentleman here who used to work in the furnace business and as a result of the conversation I am phoning Manitoba Hydro to get my furnace checked by them. 

I know I can tell when I come here I can say I had a good day, I am more optimistic. When I see people over time, the struggles they have gone through, the persistence that it takes…….this has been a good week. 

In closing, the power of positive thinking and support is important. As a doctors says if you have a bad times with anything write down every morning or night the G of a B and when you check them at the end of the month you will find you have more G than B, and it is the bad thinks we talk about not the good…..I am 87 now and had the stroke at the end of my 79th birthday. 

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