Father: David F. | Teen Ink

Father: David F. MAG

By Unknown, Unknown, Unknown

   Six years ago, my dad suffered a stroke that paralyzedhim from the nose down. He was on a ventilator in Intensive Care for 23 daysduring which I didn't get to see him. When I arrived at his room, I saw that hewas getting oxygen through a tube in his throat. He cried when he saw me, andtold me he was sad because he could not give me a hug. I could hug him, though,and I did.

Dad was moved to a rehabilitation center, but he still couldn'tbreathe, move or speak on his own. At first, it took two of us to move him aroundthe center: I pushed the wheelchair and Mom pushed the oxygen tank. When Dad nolonger needed the oxygen, he could use a power chair.

Dad was busy there.He had physical, occupational, speech, hand and vocational therapy. He had a signon his bulletin board that read, "No Fear." He was always very braveand never gave up. He was determined to do everything he could to walk, but itwas not easy!

There were a few days that I especially remember. The dayhe moved his big toe for the first time gave us hope that maybe he would be ableto move more. When he spoke for the first time, it was a little scary. He had abutton on his trachea, and when he talked, it didn't sound like Dad. The day Iremember most was when he tried to walk with two full leg braces. He was shaky,but that was okay. I was so proud of him!

After 14 weeks of therapy, Dadleft the center. His left arm and leg were stronger, but he needed a half braceon his right leg. He walked out of the rehabilitation center with the help of awalker. Everyone was amazed, even his neurologist. She later told Dad that whenhe left the hospital, she thought he would be in a bed or a wheelchair the restof his life. He continued therapy and now walks with a cane.

Sometimes mydad gets frustrated because he can't do a lot of things he used to. He just needsto think about how far he's come, and to remember that he's the bravest man Iknow. &

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i love this so much!