On June 25 2013, about a week after Danielle Ward, returned from Guatemala, she received a call that her husband Michael, was rushed to the hospital because he had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke on the left and right side of his brain. Sadly, the doctors did not think he would live past the first or second day.
Not knowing what else to do and relying on her faith in God, she would talk to him, read the Bible to him daily and played worship music in his room 24 hours a day. After being in a coma for 5 days, he woke up the following Sunday afternoon. At that point, the medical team thought maybe he was "locked in" because he was not able to move. He was only able to blink his eyes. The doctor told them that even though he woke up, they would never be able to get back the Michael that they knew. Essentially they said he would be a vegetable. That information was such a devastating blow to his young wife of 12 years.
After being on life support a while longer, he was in the acute care hospital for a month and then went to a rehabilitation hospital the next month. Still not able to walk, when he came home in a wheelchair on August 18, 2013, Danielle would be responsible for clothing and bathing him as the stroke left serious damage to his motor skills.
A year and half later, after countless speech, occupational and physical therapy sessions, Mike and Danielle Ward, are learning to cope with their new normal. While he still does not have sensation on the left side of his body, he is able to do many tasks independently. Michael is walking with a cane and is able to take care of his daily hygiene needs. He fatigues quickly much faster but he is getting stronger each day.
Determined to educate others on stroke prevention and the positive impact of support from loved ones after a health crisis, they are sharing their story. The impact of the stroke has been the most trying time in their 13 year marriage. But during their wedding when they said, “I do,” it was for better or for worse—in sickness and in health.
Schedule Mike and Danielle Ward to speak to your group. Reserve your date today by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
This program would be great any time however, here a few upcoming awareness days to assist you in selecting a date.
American Heart Month
Low Vision Awareness Month
African-American History Month
National Wear Red Day
Brain Awareness Week (16-22)
National Minority Health Month
Occupational Therapy Month
World Health Day (6)
National Stroke Awareness Month
Healthy Vision Month
Men's Health Month
National Aphasia Awareness Week
National Traumatic Brain Injury Awareness Month
Family Health and Fitness Day (7)
National Physical Therapy Month
National Family Caregivers Month
National Family Health History Day (26)