We all have people in our lives that have impacted us as human beings:
That English teacher who inspired me;
The college professor who left an imprint on my being —
All pre-stroke, of course!
NOW, how do I say thank you to those that made me laugh
and cry sometimes, who helped me jump-start my journey.
There is — and always will be — a special love
deep within my soul for each of them:
Those that pushed me until I wanted to quit—they refused to allow that.
Whether pushing or pulling, they made a difference.
I can never say thank you in strong enough words
to express my debt of gratitude.
Some I will never see again.
This pains me so.
I can live content with the knowledge, they are off to
parts unknown to help others start their journey —
God bless them every one.
These gifted souls, these angels of mercy and grace —
I’ll miss you and pray for you each day.
JOHN YURGENS | Survivor
Fort Gratiot, Michigan
John Yurgens had a right hemispheric cerebral aneurysm and stroke on
November 12, 2013 (11-12-13). Unaware of his multiple deficits he returned to
work after only five months, and the attempt failed. Legally blind, he continues to
have short-term memory issues and left-side weakness. Writing has proven good
therapy and aided him in defining his new normal. He can be contacted via email.
sideways because I did not want to turn my
attention away from the anxiety that gripped
me, and I noticed that he might have been
close to my age. We accepted his help and
proceeded on down the path. As it turned
out, he was a little older than me.
Although we had made further progress,
I could see that now the sidewalk’s slope
was very steep. Clearly, the man’s help
was essential for getting down that hill,
but at that moment, I could not see us
I stopped to look at him for the first
time. I had been so wrapped up in my
own problem that I had not even asked
his name. We introduced ourselves and
shook hands, and I thanked him for his
help. He explained that he understood
what I was going through because he also
had survived a stroke. I had not mentioned
stroke and did not notice if Nancy had
We had a brief discussion about the
challenges of recovery. As it turned out, at
one time he could not walk or talk, but he
was now assisting a younger man to get
down a steep hill. I saw the humor in the
situation and chuckled to myself.
I told him that I thought God might have
sent him to help me. He was wondering
about that, too, because he did not know
what had motivated him to take the route
we had taken, which was out of his way.
This fellow reminds me of the Good
Samaritan. We’re thankful for the helpfulness
and encouragement rendered that day. May
God continue to allow him to recover fully,
and richly bless him and his family.
RICHARD LAMBERT | Survivor
A tribute from survivors
to any medical personnel
who have ever worked
with a stroke patient.
Writer and survivor John Yurgens