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Book details
  • SubGenre:Diseases / Nervous System
  • Language:English
  • Pages:192
  • Paperback ISBN:9781667803227

a stroke

one teeny, broken blood vessel

by Debra Madonna

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Who can have a stroke? One person may ignore health warnings and go about their lives believing that nothing will happen to them. Another person may collect information about every health issue that impacts them. They listen to medical practitioners and carefully follow the advice they are given. They take care of themselves, eat healthy foods, drink 6 – 8 glasses of water every day, exercise, and avoid stress. What do these individuals have in common? Either person can have a stroke. Neither may have recognized the warnings. They may be surprised that it happened to them. Either may pay attention to the big risks, but don't consider how can a little salt, stress, or high blood pressure can negatively impact their health and lives. I had a stroke, with very little warning, and found myself in an Intensive Care Unit facing a lengthy recovery. All of my plans were cancelled that day. My immediate plans were abandoned. My long-term plans were placed on indefinite hold. My family was affected just as seriously as me. This is the story of my stroke, my recovery, the people I love, the people that love me and helped me survive and thrive.


This story begins with my stroke. I became unconscious and remained that way for the next 48 hours in a hospital. It is also the story of the people who took care of me: bystanders who called emergency services, ambulance workers, hospital workers. Each of them played an important role keeping me alive and safe. I received care from hospital personnel daily for the next month. They used their extensive training to help me to learn to eat, speak, walk, and do all the things we take for granted. Once home, I received ongoing support from medical personnel, family, and friends. I experienced little improvements every day and am still improving today. Not everyone has a positive experience in a hospital or with medical staff. When I was discharged from the hospital, I thought about the people who would become patients in a hospital. I thought about the people who don't like hospitals or doctors. I thought about the patients and their families who were confused and scared. I wish everyone could visit a therapy room in a hospital, before they become a patient, to learn the purpose of rehabilitation therapy, and understand the purpose of all the gadgets in the room. I wanted to share my experience with day-to-day life in the hospital and articulate those things that helped me. My recovery continued long after I left the hospital, doing all I could do. Was I ever scared or depressed? You bet. I let people know I needed help and they helped me. This book is for people who we meet every day, who do the best they can for others: doctors, nurses, and the therapists who helped a woman stand up and walk again. Thank you. Is it important we celebrate little accomplishments? Yes.

About the author

Debra Madonna is an occupational therapist and health educator; President and Commissioner of Miracle League of Plymouth, a baseball league for those with special needs. She served as the chairperson for Music in the Park, Kellogg Park, Plymouth Mi., a series of free-to-the-community concerts for children, their friends, and family. She hosted a weekly radio show on WSDP; wrote a bi-weekly column for Plymouth-Canton Observer; taught health education classes and facilitated workshops at St. Mary Mercy Hospital, Livonia, Mi. Debra suffered a left-sided hemorrhagic stroke 6 years ago at the age of 63. She has recovered and continues to recover. Debra lives with her husband in Plymouth, Mi. They have 3 sons, and daughters-in-law, and one grandson. deb@DebraMadonna.com www.DebraMadonna.com