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January 2016

Steve’s Story: I Love People…

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My name is Steve, I will be 56 on April 1st. I can’t speak very well but I can understand you if you speak slowly.

I was hit by a car, February 21, 2006 while walking into work at DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware. I was in a coma for 21 days. I broke every bone on the right side of my body. I had rods put in my shin because my bones were shattered. I had facial reconstructive surgery because my eye socket and jaw bones were shattered as well. I had a pulmonary embolism when they were prepping me for the 2nd surgery. I also had a broken pelvic bone which pulled apart during the accident. I spent 6 months in painful rehab.

I and my two children, Jimmy and Elizabeth, celebrated my recovery with a trip to Busch Gardens in Virginia. The first ride we rode was a Roller Coaster called the Big Bad Wolf. When I got off the ride I suffered a massive stroke. I was in a coma again but this time it was induced. My family was told that I would not recover. Two weeks later I started to respond. I couldn’t speak at all or use the right side of my body. I was in rehab again. I have severe aphasia and I confuse both “yes” and “no” as well as “left” and “right”. I understand better if it is in writing.

My sisters offered for me to live with them. I chose to live with my youngest sister Leslie, her husband Joe and their 3 daughters. I lived with them for 6 months but knew I could live alone. They moved a few miles up the road so they could live within walking distance of my new apartment. I have lived on my own for 5 years now. My son is 32 and lives in Oregon and my daughter is 24 and lives in Delaware.

I love everything about McKinney. I walk 3-5 miles a day and lift weights for an hour a day. I also spend my free time making (whittling) walking sticks, painting “gnome” stones and building miniature outhouses. My speech has greatly improved, I go to BIND once a week, and I attend an aphasia group but I am always looking for something to do. I love people.

It is very frustrating to go from programming computers to not being able to speak or write very well. Please don’t be afraid to talk to me. If you are patient we can have a great conversation and some good laughs.