Bart Parramore: Journey to Stroke RecoveryPatient Experience
by John Weidner | May 6, 2015
Bart Parramore is a true family man. This father of four lights up when he talks about his wife and children. Their love keeps him motivated and fighting to get stronger after he suffered two strokes in six months.
While getting the kids ready for trick or treating one Halloween, Bart’s speech started slurring. He is diabetic so he asked his wife Cheryl to check his blood sugar. It was normal. They sensed something was wrong and went to the hospital.
At the age of 37, Bart had his first stroke. The effects were relatively mild, although the slurred speech was frustrating for a man who admittedly talked all the time. But he was thankful that was the worst of his challenges. It was the second stroke that changed everything.
“It’s scary to be 37 and have a stroke. It’s still scary having to recover but you can’t give up. You have to keep trying.”
Cheryl recognized what was happening this time. When Bart’s arm and leg went numb she called 911. As he was treated in the emergency room, he lost more function. His left side was paralyzed. He lost his ability to speak and his kidneys failed.
After the first stroke, Bart spent 2 weeks at Brooks. After the second stroke, he spent 3 months. He is so appreciative for all of his therapists and nurses. “They made me feel like I was the only person they had to take care of. They took time to make sure I was ok,” he said. His family was also by his side, giving him the confidence to keep trying and never quit. When they would visit him during therapy, it spurred him to work harder.
For this young father, it has been a hard transition from provider to patient. He sometimes forgets all of the progress he’s made over the last two years. But he can care for himself, the house and the kids once again. He does all the cooking and Cheryl admits he’s a much better cook than she is. His specialty is pork chops which he can cook “1000 different ways”.
Bart says “It’s scary to be 37 and have a stroke. It’s still scary having to recover but you can’t give up. You have to keep trying. You might only be able to walk 10 feet, but it’s 10 feet that you didn’t need any help with. That you did on your own.”
May is National Stroke Awareness Month. To learn more about our comprehensive stroke recovery services, please visit our Stroke Page.