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Stu Pickell

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June 22nd. started just like any other day. It was the day before my 56th. birthday. I was off work that day. I took my wife to work, and had to open up for wheelchair basketball in the evening. I ran the Canadian National teams gym.


I went for breakfast at Perkins as I usually do on my off mornings, and then went to get a hair cut. When I came out of the salon there was a tingling in my head, but I thought it was just because of the heat (this was around 9 AM).


I went across the mall to get a few groceries for the BBQ we were going to have later (still no warning something was wrong).


I then went home, put the groceries away, and went outside to mow the lawn. I stubbed my foot and stumbled down the front step (I'm clumsy at the best of times). I got up and checked myself out (nothing broken), and proceeded to mow the lawn.


After I did some other things around the house it was time to pickup my wife. When I picked her up she said my driving was a little erratic. ;) She says that often. I had picked up some chicken. She worked with me cooking supper. I only had basketball till 9 PM so she decided to hang around (little did I know things were about to start happening).


I went to the guard shack to get my keys. I couldn't sign for them because my hand was shaky (didn't think anything about it). We opened the gym and had supper, basketball came and went. At around 8:30 PM my leg decided it didn't like to work anymore. My arm started to not work also. I said to my wife that she should take me to the hospital as something was wrong, I don't like hospitals and I could see this scared her (I was lucky she was there).


She locked up the building, and started for the hospital. She phoned my son to tell him what was happening. She asked him to meet us there. He beat us there. When we arrived my whole right side was limp and wouldn't work (my wife and son dragged/carried me into the ER).


A nurse took one look at me, told me to lay down as I was having a stroke. I was happy to lie down at that point. I spent three or four days on a gurney in the ER's hallways (things for the first few days were a blur), I was shuffled back and forth until they found me a room, The rest is history. Then the real work started, as most survivors can attest. I was in a rehab hospital for 14 weeks, out patient physio and OT for 9 months.


I am now retired on disability, can get around with a cane, and am now able to drive again. I'm one of the lucky ones.


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