In March of 2012 my life was going great. I had just received my acceptance letter to the University of Houston College of Pharmacy, my intramural flag football team had just gotten 2nd place, and I was getting into shape. On March 14th, I had driven from Dallas to Houston for an event that weekend. My then girlfriend and I were hanging out that night when I fell off the bed. We both thought it was funny and I just laid on the floor so she threw a pillow at me. A couple hours later she woke me up and tried to get me back on the bed but I had lost feeling on my left side. I couldn't move my arm, my speech was slurred, and my face was uneven. She called the ambulance and I was taken to the hospital. I didn't wake up for the next 3 days.
When I came to, the doctor told me I had sustained a stroke, specifically an arteriovenous malformation. It started when I was born and a section of my brain had arteries and veins jumbled up. It wasn't anything I did and their wasn't really anything I could do about it. It wasn't about if it would cause a stroke, but when it would happen I could not move anything on my left side for about 2 weeks. My mother was by my side every morning when I woke up and every night when I went to sleep. She continued to rub my fingers and may toes trying to get my feeling back. When I finally started to get some feeling, they began teaching me to walk again. I wasn't sure why this was happening to me, but I knew I needed to get back as soon as possible.
When I was able to walk and talk on my own, I was cleared to checkout of the hospital and start therapy at the Centre for Neuro Skills. The therapists there were a pivotal step in my recovery. They were able to help me run, catch things, and get my brain processing speed faster. The intensive training for 6 and a half months was able to allow me to take care of myself and go back to to school at the University of Houston. I have so many people who love and support me every single day and keep me going. Now I was able to start pharmacy school, and even though it is tough, I have many people who continue to encourage me.