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Dave's Story

As he laid wedged between his garage and deck, all Dave MacIntosh could do was yell for help, hoping a neighbour or passerby would hear him. It was the middle of May, and a great day to be out working on his deck. While he was suspended on his ladder, his hand suddenly felt like it had “dropped off”.

Then he thought “I’m in trouble,” and swiftly started to make his way down the ladder. On the way down he slipped and fell, wedging him between his deck and garage. After 45 minutes, a neighbour finally heard the cries for help, and found Dave. Thankfully, his neighbour knew the signs of stroke and immediately called 9-1-1.

He spent a week in the hospital before he was sent for rehabilitation. Dave, the occupational therapy, and physical therapy staff worked together to help him regain the motor skills he had lost.  The small things we take for granted like frying an egg, he had to learn all over again.

Even on the days Dave was doubtful in himself, the hospital staff focused on the skills he possessed before stroke. As he was a mechanic for several years, the Occupational Therapist came up with the unique idea of putting wheels back onto a wheelchair, which to Dave’s surprise he managed to do successfully.

The hospital staff knew what he was capable of and pushed him each day. “I worked hard, and they worker harder,” he said.

Even though he had an abundance of support from his family, Dave was determined to adjust to life at home after stroke on his own. Upon his return home, it was clear that his lifestyle needed to be adjusted to help prevent future stroke. These changes consisted of eating habits, and he started looking for foods that contained less sodium and sugar. As well as learning to listen to his body and not overexert himself, taking breaks when needed.

The after math of his stroke is still present, but its Dave’s positive mind set and determination that gets him through it. “I have so many things to be thankful for, just being alive is one.” He said that though he hopes he never has to identify the signs of stroke again, FAST will forever be engraved in his memory.

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