From Profiles in Paradise
What would it be like to lose your ability to walk, even move, to express yourself or to take care of your most basic daily needs?
Bob Mandell knows.
He was 53 years old in January 1996 when a massive stroke robbed him of all of the above. He’s been on my show several times to share the story of his inspiring recovery.
On the day of the stroke, he left work with a severe headache and feeling like he had the flu. He had just climbed into bed at the townhouse he shared with his wife, Debbie — they had been married for just 18 months — in Connecticut when he realized his whole right side was going numb.
Though paralysis was setting in, he managed to call 911 and told the operator what was happening, but not to send anyone because the front door was locked (stroke victims, suffering an attack on the brain, become confused and sometimes don’t make the best decisions).
When Debbie arrived home, she called 911, and by the time the ambulance got there, Bob had passed out.
The stroke left him paralyzed on the right side, initially unable to speak or think very much, write or even go to the bathroom unattended. Doctors told Bob he would need a wheelchair the rest of his life.
But he worked relentlessly with his therapists, ar focusing on small victories and refusing to accept defeat.