A long way back from stroke

Surviving a stroke and regaining one’s health depend on many things. Brad Soots, an employee at Providence Children's Development Institute, suffered a severe stroke in May 2010. However, immediately calling 911, beginning medical care within an hour, getting months of superb rehabilitation, and making major lifestyle changes, all helped Brad regain most of his previous function.

Although he still has left side weakness and loss of sensation, just three months after his stroke he was able to work full time again.

“I knew pretty quickly I was having a stroke,” Brad says. “I couldn’t hold onto anything in my left hand and my speech was all garbled. I was in the ER at Providence Portland within an hour, but my stroke was pretty major. While I was still in the ICU, doctors told my family and me that I might never walk, talk, drive or work again. But I didn’t give up. It just motivated me to prove them wrong. I now can do all of those things again. Just three months after my stroke, I traveled to Montana for my daughter’s wedding to walk her down the aisle.”

Brad knows he had a number of risk factors for stroke, including Type 2 diabetes, smoking and obesity. But during his rehabilitation on the 4K unit at PPMC, he quit smoking, changed his diet and lost more than 100 pounds. As a result, he no longer needs insulin injections for his diabetes.

“I owe a lot to my rehab team,” Brad says. “I even volunteer  on the unit now, so I can be walking, talking proof to other  patients what a huge difference these dedicated people can make  in people’s lives and livelihoods.

Timing is everything.
If stroke strikes, call 911.

Providence Stroke Center  asks that you take the potentially lifesaving time to learn about stroke warning signs, risk factors and actions you can take to help prevent stroke. Learn more ›