It was February 28, 1994 and I was 27 years old. It was about 8 pm and my girlfriend, Cindy and I were sitting at the table drinking coffee and talking when my right eye began to hurt. The pain quickly increased from a dull pain to an intense sharp pain, which felt like a metal skewer was being driven through my eye. Then my speech became unintelligible, the left side of my body went numb and I fell to the floor in a heap.
I was taken to a nearby hospital only to be sent home several hours later. The doctors said there was nothing wrong with me. I spent about four days at home with no treatment and went from weighing 126 lbs to 106 lbs. I was finally seen by a doctor at a local clinic who sent me to another hospital for testing. A CAT scan showed a large bleed in the right hemisphere of my brain located in the basil ganglia and thalamus.
I spent several months in rehab then went back home. Two months after I returned home I was told to leave because my girlfriend found someone else. I then moved in with my mother until I was approved for SSDI. Then I obtained my own apartment.
One year after I had my stroke I won custody of my daughter, Kala, who was four-years-old at the time. I have raised her on my own ever since. She is now 16, an A-B student and cheerleader. I am now 39 and finishing my senior year at a local college majoring in sociology.
The last 12 years have been painful and challenging to say the least but I can honestly say I have learned a lot about life as well as about myself. Prior to the stroke I had very low self-esteem and a very negative attitude. Now I am the complete opposite. I have wanted to write a book about my experience but I have no idea how to write it. Maybe I