Celeste: 2 Years, In Her Words

By May 13, 2016Blog, News, Newsletter, PR, Resources

On May 13, 2014, my life made a 360 degree turn! I was working in my office with a colleague at Reliant Rehabilitation of Dallas. I stood up to drink a cup of water and the cup dropped, my right side of my face drooped & my right arm was oscillating without control. My mind yelled, “ALERT! SOMETHING IS WRONG!!” but I couldn’t say a word.

I was transferred to Medical City of Dallas immediately via ambulance. I had an embolic stroke (actually 2 blood clots) in the left hemisphere of my brain. In the ER, they administered tPA (Tissue Plasminogen Activator) to dissolve the clots to improve blood flow in the middle carotid artery. One of the clots was “stubborn” I guess and I had brain surgery (intracranial angioplasty and stenting).

I woke up in ICU in silence and had right sided hemiparesis (right arm was flaccid (no muscle tone) and sensation deficits. I have Apraxia (oral motor speech) and Aphasia (express & understand language). After my stroke, I couldn’t read, speak, nor form sentences. Thank GOD my spelling and memory was intact to write simple words to express my needs.

I am a Physical Therapist practicing over 20 years and my position before the stroke was Chief Therapy Officer managing staff, hospital policies and rehab patients/families. I transferred to Baylor Dallas inpatient for a week for all therapy disciplines (Physical (PT), Occupational (OT) and Speech (ST)) then Pate Rehabilitation (Anna location) outpatient for ST for 8 months. My discharge from Pate was January 28, 2015 and I was a little torn. I was sad to leave my “safe place”, happy because my speech was better and scared to jump into life again!

I gained more Faith in GOD and more fight for my life and my daughter, Tylar. A lot of crying (an emotional battle) during my storm but those tears were a symbol that I’m thankful & humbled because GOD shielded and blessed me with a strong support group…family and friends! I didn’t work for nearly a year and gradually started PT per diem then full time in June 2015. GOD IS GOOD!! I joined B.I.N.D. last year as a volunteer to connect with brain injury survivors and to increase awareness & knowledge in the community. Brain Injury Network of Dallas is a bridge to build relationships, mentorship, support for survivors and their families and a platform for patient advocacy!

Celeste Larkins
Stroke Survivor May 2014

18 Comments

  • Sonia says:

    So proud of you cousin!! Love you!!

    Sonia

    • "AA" says:

      God is awesome!! Sis you went through this because God knew you could handle it. He trusted you to do HIS will! Celeste keep giving HIM ALL the PRAISE! Your testimony is beautiful and you are doing exactly what HE wants you to do! I’m proud of you & thankful that you are sharing your story to encourage and bless others!

  • Sandra P. Reef says:

    Beautiful Celeste! Your story will inspire others. You are a walking testimony and also a poster child for the results of following the doctor’s orders. Hard work, dedication, and commitment will always WIN. Love ya’

    Sand

  • Nicole Redmond says:

    Praise God! I will never forget the day I got the news! God is so faithful and I’m so glad you are enjoying life again!!! Love you!

  • Lisa says:

    Lisa Perry Celeste supporter for life

  • Angela Powell Logan says:

    Beautiful Celeste!! 😘 from one stroke survival to another. “Stroke Survival February 2012.

  • Tiffany Armstrong says:

    Celeste you are amazing! So powerful yet a gentle and gracious spirit you have. Thanks for sharing sis.

  • Taunya Wallace says:

    Celeste you are a living testimony and an inspiration to me and others. Thank you for sharing your story with the world. May God continue to bless you and your family. Love and admiration.

  • Sue Bartlett says:

    Congratulations on your come back and all your hard work. Very inspiring!

  • Rejonia Smith says:

    What a awesome testimony to how great our God is. Celeste you are and always have been a fighter, thank God he saved you to be a blessing to others. Keep striving daily to do the unexpected. Be Blessed my sister in christ.

  • Gillian says:

    What a blessing to witness what God did with your testimony. To watch you move to a firm place of triumph has moved me beyond words.

  • Leslie Hall says:

    Celeste is an inspiration!!! Love her

  • Doug Cashsr says:

    Truly appreciate all you have shared with me…tools on navigating and letting go of what you have no control. Much respect for a person of your character whose actions speak louder than any words. Appreciative that you won the battle with the stroke and allowed me to learn from you.

  • Christie says:

    So proud of you!! You’re an inspiration and why we do what we do, day in and day out.

  • Pamala says:

    Sad, very scary period for you and all those who love you. But you stood by your promise to “fight your way back” to your former self. Welcome back!

  • Adrian Ford says:

    How must it feel to be a breathing, walking, talking, & LIVING miracle! To say that I have been blessed & motivated by your tenacity, dedication, & zeal for life is an understatement. Many will feel compelled to keep fighting because of your story/ testimony! Keep living, loving, & testifying about the goodness of God & proper self care, Celeste!

  • Mary TREVINO says:

    You are truly a testimony to God grace! Your love, trust, and faith for God is so powerful that you are an inspiration to all! May your story inspire others to put their faith in the Lord!!! Love you

  • Monica Barnes says:

    You were fabulous and fantastic before… and now your strength amazes me! This story, in your own words, is proof of how resilient you really are. Love you to the moon and back!