Stroke Survivors CAN! – Jerry Wald
Jerry thought the bloody noses and vomiting were the results of a sinus infection. The life of a banking executive doesn’t allow much time for these sorts of distractions. Jerry’s career was all about time management. He spent time managing over 4 billion dollars of assets, he spent time managing the Board of Directors, he spent time managing his executive staff, he spent time managing employees, he spent time ping ponging from state to state, flying his Cessna from bank to bank to manage his territory that covered 3 states. Bloody noses would have to wait.
But strokes don’t care about our schedules. They don’t care about our responsibilities, our careers, our families, or our lives. The bloody noses went on for about a week. Then, on October 19th, 2010 Jerry succumbed to an hemorrhagic stroke that paralyzed his entire right side and robbed him of his ability to speak and his ability to walk. Surgery repaired the damage to his brain with the insertion of a coil. Afterward, Jerry spent 9 days in ICU and 2 and a half months as an inpatient in a rehab hospital.
Being diligent with rehab has enabled Jerry to walk with the help of an AFO brace. He must be careful because he is still at risk of falling. But he is walking. Additionally, his aphasia sometimes prevents him for speaking words that he knows but can’t form. And depression continues to be a factor, although much less than at first. Jerry is also subject to seizures. He continues attending therapy sessions 4-6 months a year and when he isn’t in a session at the clinic he practices therapy every day at home.
Jerry attributes a lot of his recovery success to his family and their incredible patience. His wife Barbara, 4 kids and 10 grandchildren have been by his side for the entire time. Friends, and the stroke community have also made a big contribution to Jerry’s improvements.
Nowadays Jerry stays plenty busy. He hosts a live podcast called Let’s Talk Stroke that airs on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Its an inspiring show that features interviews with medical professionals who share their knowledge on stroke and brain injury and with brain injury survivors to show other survivors that they aren’t alone. When Jerry isn’t working on his podcast he is involved with local support groups and is a guest speaker at church events. He has also learned to golf one handed.
Jerry says, “I embrace the little things in life and try to let the world know there is so much to live for”. His advice to other stroke survivors is, “ Never say never, celebrate those wins no matter how big or small they are. Forward is forward. Never give up, and take the “t” out of can’t”.
Its this kind of attitude that makes Jerry Wald a Stroke Survivor who CAN!
If this blogs touches you, won’t to please consider to make a donation to Stroke Survivors CAN!, a nonprofit devoted to helping stroke survivors find hope and empowerment. Your contribution helps this site possible!
You can write a check to:
Stroke Survivors CAN
3023 E Copper Point Dr., #108
Meridian, ID 83642
Or use Givebutter to give online: Restoring Lives, Finding New Directions (givebutter.com)