Survivor Stories

Hope from an American Survivor

Post on 01/09/18

 

 

My name is Paul Berger.  I had a stroke 30 years ago, when I was 36. I lost my speech, my right arm and leg were paralyzed, and I came home in a wheelchair.  I lost my job. But I did not give up.  My wife, Stephanie Mensh, my family and a few wonderful friends helped me. They believed in me.  Over the years, I worked hard on therapy to re-learn to walk, talk, and return to work. 

Paul (third from left) and his wife, Stephanie (second from left) with the SNSA members at a recent gathering.

Paul (third from left) and his wife, Stephanie (second from left) with the SNSA members at a recent gathering.

We love to travel.  With planning (and a little extra expense for accessible hotels and non-stop flights), we have traveled from our home in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., to places across the United States, Europe, New Zealand, Australia, and now to Singapore for eight days. We visited most of Singapore’s tourist sites.  At the aquarium, we met a woman with the same folding cane chair that I use to sit and watch the sea creatures. Our favorite day was Saturday, with the SNSA Life After Stroke in Yishun, followed by a hawker lunch with Poh Choo, and caregiver Ann.  I enjoyed the exercises with the physiotherapists, and the music session. I was inspired by the positive attitude of the stroke survivors attending, and by Ann’s battles for her husband. 

Be hopeful. Don’t give up.  Medical professionals think you stop making progress in a few weeks or months.  I am proof that a stroke survivor can continue to improve every year, and live a full life, try new things, meet new people. If I can do it, you can do it, too!

I write about my adventures with stroke in my book, “How to Conquer the World With One Hand…And an Attitude,” and my website: www.strokesurvivor.com.  To read my travel tips, visit:  http://strokesurvivor.com/travel_tips.html

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