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Stroke Patient Stories

Rick & Diane Crandall

Rick and Diane Crandall

John Lennon of the Beatles once said, "Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans." Trust me, the Crandalls were planning for anything other than a stroke when my companion of 33-years, Diane, suffered one on August 6, 2006. What started as a quiet Sunday morning over a cup of coffee quickly became a mad dash to the hospital and a host of people in white-coats asking life and death questions. At 7:00 a.m. I was looking to see where the Rockies were in the standings. At 9:00 a.m. I was looking at brain scan results with a doctor who was showing me where Di’s brain had been affected by an Ischemic Stroke that was causing Aphasia, a language disorder caused by damage to the left side of the brain. That’s where the blood clot had gone that caused her stroke.

More than 2 years later, I’m incredibly happy to report that Diane has recovered almost 100% of her brain function from before the stroke. The brain is a remarkable organ that begins healing itself immediately. When the stroke first occurred it seemed Diane may never be able to talk in complete sentences again. By the fourth day of her hospitalization, she couldn’t stop talking, though it was labored and after a couple months of speech therapy with the wonderful people at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, she regained almost everything else. Today Diane manages the day-to-day operation of the Colorado Freedom Memorial Foundation, helps raise our 7-year old granddaughter Larissa and watches after her 52-year old adolescent husband!! She is an inspiration to our family and friends and anyone who has seen her fight.

"We’re closer, we celebrate more often, complain less often and love each other more than we thought possible."

In February 2007 Diane had surgery to repair a hole in her heart that doctors believe allowed the clot to escape and get to her brain causing the stroke. The surgery was actually done as an outpatient procedure. How amazing is that? Now, on the second anniversary of her surgery, Di has a clean bill of health.

There were tough times, and still are. We are changed forever. We’re closer, we celebrate more often, complain less often and love each other more than we thought possible. And, we have experienced the power of thousands of KEZW listeners praying for her recovery. One of the lessons we learned during all this was don’t be afraid to ask, and don’t think you’re alone. That’s always been the Spirit of Studio 1430.